United We Win
UA empowers the next generation of women and girls for success on and off the field with the Women’s History Month Collection.
Under Armour is committed to celebrating, supporting, and championing our women teammates and athletes.
After a year where women experienced some of the biggest losses — financially and athletically — now is the time to double-down on empowering the next generation of women leaders and athletes.
Sports play a crucial role in helping women develop into future leaders, emboldening young women with the confidence to take life's challenges head-on. With 96% of women in C-suite positions having an athletic past, it's clear that sports help build the foundation for confident, successful women.
But 40% of teen girls are not actively participating in sports — they enter sports later, participate in fewer numbers, and exit earlier than boys. High school sports opportunities for boys outnumber those for girls by over 1.13 million.
Women athletes must be supported. That’s why we're renewing our commitment to women and girl athletes — because when we're united, we win.
"We will continue to elevate, create opportunities and open doors for women to be able to grow into higher levels of our company."
President of the Americas, Under Armour
Letter from W.I.L.L.
We are W.I.L.L. - Women Inspiring Leading and Living – Under Armour’s largest Teammate Resource Group (TRG) with eight chapters in four regions around the world. Established to empower the women of Under Armour to achieve their highest potential, both personally and professionally, we exist to provide our members with resources, tools, and an environment where they can thrive, and develop into their best selves.
This past year, the stress and disruption of COVID-19 has erased boundaries and stretched limits, disproportionately impacting women in the workplace, making our work as a TRG more important than ever. We’ve found the silver lining of the pandemic by using this moment in history as an opportunity to listen, learn, and evolve our approach to best support our teammates. Along the way, we’ve identified new ways for our members to connect, and we’ve called on ALL of our teammates – regardless of gender - to come together as allies with the intent to make a foundational effort to shift our culture in a constructive, inclusive manner.
We’ve persevered and showed up by providing resources to help teammates to build the skills, confidence and ambition needed to elevate their careers while also balancing numerous roles at home. Now, a year later, we’ve created a stronger community. A community of women, men, moms, dads, teachers and caregivers, and Under Armour teammates who together, are committed to celebrating, supporting and championing our women – both on and off the field.
This Women's History Month & International Women's Day, we recognize the accomplishments of our women teammates, UA athletes and all the fierce women who have made an impact. We are proud of the steps that Under Armour has taken to create an equitable workplace for our teammates, but are the first to admit that there is still work to be done. This March, W.I.L.L. celebrates women and their contributions to our business and world, while continuing to advocate for their advancement.
"Our ultimate goal is to support a stronger environment where we foster camaraderie amongst all our women at the DH. Our chapter provides opportunities for our women in the workplace to grow, have a voice, and to gain access to the tools and resources they need to feel empowered to elevate their careers."
Solution Analysts + W.I.L.L. Omni DH Chapter Lead
"I joined W.I.L.L. to help empower the women of UA at all levels within the organization. For us to make an impact and reshape the conversation, we need to make sure all of UA’s women voices are heard. Through the programming that W.I.L.L. is organizing for our teammates, we are providing opportunities of engagement, professional development and allyship to help bring these conversations to light."
Senior Director, Global Corporate Events + W.I.L.L. Co-Chair
"As an executive sponsor of W.I.L.L., my primary motivation was to step-up as an ally for women both at UA and in my life. My goal is to try and demonstrate to others that there is no threat or downside to men supporting and embracing the journey to equality and inclusion for women. A rising tide lifts all ships."
Vice President, Materials & Manufacturing Innovation + W.I.L.L. Executive Sponsor
"I became a member of the W.I.L.L. EMEA Chapter because I believe in our TRG mission statement “that our business is strengthened by gender diversity” that helps to empower, inspire and educate women in their journey to be better. This past year has shown the power of community, the significance of both empathy and personal growth, and that representation matters. Ultimately, we all have an important role to play to create inclusive work cultures."
Senior Lead, Category Marketing – Women’s + W.I.L.L. EMEA Chapter Lead
"I joined W.I.L.L. to collaborate with other women in APAC, work for gender equality and learn about women’s issues in Asia. Being a part of this TRG has provided opportunities for women to thrive and knowing that there are other people to support you, has created an excellent place for women to grow and succeed at UA."
Product Developer, Apparel + W.I.L.L. APAC Chapter Lead
UA athletes, teammates and community partners address leveling the playing field for girls in sports and women in the workplace.
"A majority of women in C-suite positions in corporate America have played sports at one point in their life. There are lessons that I’ve learned in sports that are transferable. When I think about my life on the track, it has blossomed by taking the principles that I’ve learned from sports over into my personal life. Sports can, in a way, be the foundation of a lot of things in girls' lives, from self-esteem, discipline, relationships.
There is so much to be gained from sports and unfortunately girls’ retention in sports isn’t the same as boys. We need to change that and ensure that girls have the same access.
We need more women in the spaces that are telling our stories and making the decisions for us. A lot of times we’re left out of the pie because the people making the decisions for us don’t look like us, don’t understand us — they’re going to look out for themselves. We’ve got to continue to lead the charge and fill as many spaces as we can to reach back and pull the next one up. It’s some of the responsibility that we take on as we accomplish more. Making sure that we take up the space, but make the space for more of us to come along in the ranks." - Natasha Hastings
"Our mission is aimed at addressing inequalities in youth sports, and our focus is to find the youth population that is underserved in communities and invest in their opportunities to play. For us, it's about making sure that all kids have the lifelong benefits that come along with the opportunity to play sports and being involved in physical activity.
We have to make sure that girls are given equal opportunities from the start. And we need to watch and make sure that, as they get older, that those opportunities are not just equal in number but also equal in quality. As sports become more competitive in the older ages, both the quality of play diminishes as well as the available facilities.
We have to listen to girls. We have to listen to the girls who are in it and look to them as to what are the clues about how it's broken and where it can be fixed. I think we have to be careful to not assume that the world that they're living in looks the same as it did 30 years ago. We need to better understand the challenges they're facing because if we can't understand those challenges well, we can't put resources against trying to fix some of them." - Christy Keswick
"My whole life, I've had this passion around sports. From the time I was in 7th grade, I was a statistician for a bunch of sports teams like football, wrestling, and baseball. And then I became a news reporter too and I literally would do the stats, then call and do radio and help the paper. So I was always engaged in sports in different ways, which shaped the thought process of everything I do — from how I lead teams to how I think about 'we' versus 'I' and how things get done.
When I look at the impact of sports on girls today, it reminds me of myself and my own passion, especially as I raised my two daughters. Sport gives girls the confidence that they can do anything. Because when you're in sports, you have to tough it out and work together with your teammates. And that mentality translates to your career, the value of pushing through and pushing the limits. Go for what you want and don't worry about the stereotypical norm because now the possibilities are limitless.
I had my own experience with this. When I was younger I wanted to both play football and be a referee. All things I couldn't do, and now women are actually doing it. And here at Under Armour, we get to introduce a football cleat for girls who are playing football. It’s amazing to see it come to life, and be part of it in my own way." - Lisa Collier
"The Girls Opportunity Alliance works to empower adolescent girls around the world through education so that they can pursue their dreams and transform their families, communities, and countries. We support grassroots leaders and organizations across the globe who do this work directly on the ground in countries like Vietnam, Peru, Ghana, and in Kenya. One of the organizations we work with is the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy Foundation.
Sports are an important way to empower girls and to build both their physical and mental strength. When girls participate in sports, they learn about leadership, determination, and how to be part of a team. It’s important for girls to develop all of their muscles: the muscles in their minds, in their bodies, in their hearts, and in their souls. It all matters.
We know the challenges that girls already face are heightened during times like these, from child marriage to violence at home. Sadly, that includes access to education. Early studies predict that an additional 20 million girls of secondary school age may never return to school as a result of the pandemic. We can't let that happen—these girls can't afford to miss out on their education, and the world can't afford to miss out on their talents and ideas.
That's why we've been so heartened by the ways that grassroots organizations and supporters like Under Armour are going above and beyond to ensure that girls aren't left behind as the world responds to the pandemic. But the challenges in the years ahead are daunting, and the whole global community needs to come together to ensure that girls' education and well-being are central to our pandemic response." - Tiffany Drake
"It's important for women to have their own community in sport so they can relate to each other. That's something that I wish I had growing up — I always thought I had to be one of the boys. While it did create a competitive spirit in me, I didn't see a broad range of women in sport that I could relate to.
I encourage young girls to try everything and not be afraid. You're obviously going to fail, you're not going to be the best at everything, but if you see it as something that you are simply excited about, that’s all that matters. I wish someone would have told me not to give into the pressures of what people expect from you and your sport. If you just love being there, love being around your friends, whatever it is, that's why you should be there. And so I think a lot of the time, people, especially young women, walk away from their sport because of the pressure.
We need to constantly remind young women that you should be there because you want to be there. And that's the only explaining you have to do." - Georgia Ellenwood
"For me, sport provided an incredible amount of discipline at an extremely young age. It definitely shifts your lifestyle. Starting in middle school, I no longer participated in PE, because my daily training surpassed the traditional PE class. So instead, I did study hall during that time because I actually needed it due to the hours I put in before and after school with swimming.
As a youth athlete, when you've got a tournament over a weekend and you still have your reports due or that test on Monday, how do you balance training, competing all while still studying and being a student? Having to manage that at a really young age, where you still have the support of family, set me up for success in college to be really driven and disciplined. And that translated into how I approach life and work, which is with discipline and rigor and dedication.
I have two pieces of advice for women in their careers. First, don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something. I literally had one leader tell me, 'You're not really going to be able to do that in your career.' I went home that night and I was bummed. But I woke up pissed and I thought, 'Okay, game on.' From that point on, I actually looked for things that people thought I couldn't do. Just so that I could do them.
Number two, don't ever price yourself lower than your value. Women always negotiate lower or they don't push back or don't ask for more money. They don't come back to the table. You've got to challenge. Because you know your worth." - Blake Simpson
"I was a swimmer growing up and I truly believe it has shaped me in so many different ways. Part of it is the structure required to be in the pool at 5:00 AM. But, my favorite event was the medley relay. And I think that relates so well to business because the relay is a metaphor for when we're operating best together. Everyone has their individual stroke, and they have a different role within the relay, but it has to be orchestrated. There has to be the energy of you coming together to achieve your common goal.
Coming together as a group is crucial, which is why I love being part of W.I.L.L. It is the largest teammate resource group we have, so it can sometimes be difficult to form that camaraderie and community. But I have seen, even through the course of the pandemic, Under Armour teammates really showed up for each other and provided much-needed support to get through what is a challenging time disproportionately impacting women.
One of the reasons I became a leader of W.I.L.L. is after seeing so much connection between our passionate women teammates and a strong women's business. We know that ideas come from all places and I've seen the impact of teammates - especially from our W.I.L.L. TRG- to make our brand more inclusive internally and externally. One example is we had W.I.L.L. teammates volunteer as wear testers for our inclusive sizing launch. It was incredible to see teammates from across the organization engaged in building our brand with a new consumer." - Morgan Goerke
"Kibera Girls’ Soccer Academy (KGSA) has been involved with the Girls Opportunity Alliance since 2018. The Alliance has opened the door to other organizations working in the field of education and gender equity that have supported our fundraising efforts as well, including Under Armour.
Sports have been proven to increase academic performance and self-esteem and reduce incidences of drug use, criminal behavior, and teen pregnancy. Sports teach teamwork and provide girls with a support network during a vulnerable time in their growth and development.
Investing in girls’ access to sports is an important step in working towards gender equality. The KGSA started out as a soccer club to get girls off the streets and into something productive. At the time, there were no soccer teams for girls in Kibera and the boys would not let them join their games, but soccer has no gender — sports are for everyone!
In Kenya and Kibera, soccer and secondary education are not equitable between girls and boys. When you invest in girls, both in sports and education, you level the playing field and allow girls the opportunity to reach their full potential. Research shows that when you invest in girls, you not only transform their lives but also their families and their communities. Many KGSA girls have gone on to university, secured employment and a path to career progression, and have broken the cycle of poverty. Our alumni give back to the community by volunteering at the school and in other organizations that support girls in need, while others have started charities that help make a difference in the community. Soccer and education made this all possible." - Madame Claris
"2020 was a difficult year for all of us. It impacted every person differently, but working women and mothers were among the hardest hit. Already juggling our fair share, we are suddenly faced with a whole new reality of being professionals, partners, teachers, babysitters, chefs. It affects how we spend our day and our psyche. Many of us questioned whether we are being successful in any of our roles, even though we were doing more than ever before.
I’ve leaned on my experience of being an athlete during this time. Growing up, sports always gave me a place to belong. The power of the team coming together for something greater was what mattered. I try to bring this to work everyday, not just for the women on my team, but also to W.I.L.L.
A key to that is being accessible to our W.I.L.L. leadership team and TRG overall as they’re an incredible resource for all teammates. Even if a woman isn’t in W.I.L.L., it’s important that we create opportunities for her, set good examples and open a dialogue to discuss the unique challenges that women face.
With W.I.L.L. and our parenting TRG, I have learned how important it is to express that empathy. As a leader, there are misconceptions that we don’t have the same challenges, but to share the idea that we are human gives solace to a lot of our teammates." - Stephanie Pugliese
Good Sports’ mission is to give all kids the lifelong benefits of sport and physical activity by providing equipment, apparel and footwear to those most in need. Good Sports recognized that there are still too many hurdles for girls and young women when it comes to opportunity to play, so they launched the She Who Plays initiative designed to support new and equitable access to sports for girls nationwide. In continuation of their partnership with Good Sports, Under Armour will support this initiative through investments in providing the tools and equipment that girls need to succeed.
Girls Opportunity Alliance*, a program of the Obama Foundation, seeks to empower adolescent girls around the world through education, allowing them to achieve their full potential and transform their families, communities, and countries. In partnership with Under Armour, they support global programs that empower girls through sport, like the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, which began as a girls soccer team and has evolved into providing free secondary education to at-risk and disadvantaged young women in Kibera, Kenya.
*The name and emblem of the Girls Opportunity Alliance, a program of The Barack Obama Foundation, are used with permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The Girls Opportunity Alliance name and logo are registered trademarks owned by The Barack Obama Foundation.
SEE THE COLLECTION
This Women’s History Month, we created a collection that reflects the drive and determination of women in sport—and women everywhere—who never stop working to show us all what strong really means.
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