CrossFit is continuing to take active steps toward improving its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). On Nov. 20, 2020, CrossFit HQ announced that they are accepting applications for the CrossFit DEI Council — an advisory council that will comprise CrossFit community members to help strengthen DEI efforts within the company. The application window will be open until Dec. 4, 2020. Currently, CrossFit is only accepting applications based in the United States. Though they “look forward to expanding membership in the future….our commitment is global.”
Since purchasing the company from founder Greg Glassman in June of 2020, CrossFit CEO Eric Roza has been vocal about striving for more inclusivity in CrossFit.
In August of 2020, during the first CrossFit virtual town hall interview with Roza after officially becoming CrossFit’s owner and CEO, he said, “racism and sexism are absolutely abhorrent…and there’s zero place for them in CrossFit.” Then, in an interview with BarBend in October of 2020, Roza said, “I think we clearly have a lot of work to do also around people who look different than we do in any number of ways. That’s an area where we’re going to continue to work very heavily on, and we spend a ton of time around diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
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With this announcement, CrossFit has outlined a series of steps that they’ve already taken and will take (in 2021) — aimed at strengthening the company’s DEI. The first major step was the appointment of Trish Gerlitz, CrossFit’s new Vice President of Culture and Inclusion, who will guide their DEI initiative. A more diverse leadership team, “including multiple women and people of color,” is also being built. Then, there’s the new DEI council, which CrossFit says will act as a forum to guide the organization’s efforts.
The CrossFit Scholarship Program, which will “expand access by providing no-cost L1 training in underserved and underrepresented communities,” is already being led by CrossFit Games Head Judge and Level-1 Trainer Chuck Carswell. What’s more, CrossFit has committed to expanding the CrossFit Foundation — a nonprofit within CrossFit — with an endowment of $7 million.
Looking Forward to 2021
In addition to establishing the DEI Council, CrossFit plans to develop an “education, awareness, and training plan” for their employees and stakeholders. This includes anti-bias training. CrossFit will also participate in the Corporate Equality Index, a report published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to rate American businesses on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees. CrossFit says that they will publicly share their CEI results and collect and share “demographic data” on CrossFit employees and members to measure their DEI progress.
The CrossFit DEI Council will report directly to Gerlitz. Gerlitz reports directly to Roza, who, in his town hall interview, voiced a desire to be held accountable regarding his follow through on CrossFit’s commitment to improving DEI. CrossFit has set up an email that anyone can message to offer feedback about DEI — email@example.com.
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