Company Email: Strippers Are No Longer Free

Under Armour adapts to the #MeToo world
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2018 10:44 AM CST
Updated Nov 11, 2018 11:35 AM CST
In this Jan. 17, 2015, photo, Under Armour founder Kevin Plank sits courtside during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game between Maryland and Michigan State in College Park, Md.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – Note to Under Armour employees: Your strip-club bills will no longer be reimbursed. That's among the changes at the Baltimore-based sports apparel company amid reports of top execs' chauvinistic behavior—including parties with go-go dancers and strip-club outings with athletes and co-workers, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Our teammates deserve to work in a respectful and empowering environment," says Chairman and CEO Kevin Plank, 46. "We believe that there is systemic inequality in the global workplace and we will embrace this moment. ... We can and will do better." That could be tough in a company where Plank has reportedly given senior roles to friends, and his brother, Scott Plank, left in 2012 after allegations of sexual misbehavior.

What's more, Kevin Plank hosted annual parties at his Maryland horse farm with female dancers and young female workers invited for their looks—a scheme that event managers dubbed "stocking the pond." Several former and current employees tell the Journal it's a demeaning atmosphere, and with human resources chief Kerry Chandler out the door, no female execs remain in the C-suite (though the company says Chandler's interim replacement will be a woman). That said, nearly half of Under Armour's roughly 14,000 workers are female, with a third at director level or above. All workers were informed in February that limo services, gambling, and adult entertainment are among the perks no longer reimbursed by the company, per the Baltimore Business Journal. (In other #MeToo news, the Harvey Weinstein case has run into a "horror.")

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