The NBA is an equal opportunity employer and as such, desires to be reflective of the communities they serve. The NBA provides opportunities to both men and women, tailoring programs and activities to meet the specific needs of each audience.
So, how does it measure up?
To answer this question we will use a few different categories that some might argue are missing from the mission statement: gender equity in hiring practices; LGBT inclusion; racial/ethnic diversity in personnel decisions; international outreach efforts. I will address each category briefly with my own quote or comment about how they rank on a scale of 1-5 (5 being best).
What Is NBA’s Mission Statement?
“The NBA is committed to promoting and enhancing the game of basketball throughout the world, and fostering the development and promotion of socially responsible entertainment through our industry-leading programs.”
What Should Be NBA’s Mission Statement?
The focus of my NBA mission statement is to address issues of gender equity in hiring practices; LGBT inclusion; racial/ethnic diversity in personnel decisions; international outreach efforts.
Gender Equity in Hiring Practices
The NBA actually has a good track record for making this a priority in their hiring practices. I think it’s important to clarify what this means, though. The NBA does not equalize the numbers of male and female employees in their office, which is really what would happen if they were practicing true gender equity. Instead, the goal appears to be that they have an adequately sized staff with enough women at each level within the office so that there are enough women to be considered for key positions and team opportunities.
NBA’s Mission Statement Analysis
I am going to give a score of 3 to the NBA’s mission statement on this topic because I think they have a good program in place, but there are certainly more women than men on staff.
LGBT Inclusion (In The NBA)
This is the single area that I think the NBA needs to improve above all others at this point. I don’t believe that the NBA has a formal “gay rights” clause in their employment policies and the only inclusion benefit for gay players is provided by their personal management team (ie: Gary Stevenson).
What Is NBA’s Vision Statement?
“Inspire the world, build communities, shape a legacy.”
What Are NBA’s Core Values?
“Unity, Respect, and Unselfishness.”
What Is NBA’s Commitment?
“The NBA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age disability or status as a temporary or permanent member of the armed services.”
Why Does it Matter To Me?
This would be my biggest concern with the NBA around this topic. There is nothing in writing about their commitment to equality of treatment of women in the workplace. This is obvious because they have an openly gay CEO (Donnie Walsh) and an openly female President of Team Marketing (Barbara Mannering). There are a lot more men than women holding leadership positions within the Association.
In 1957, the NBA became the first professional sports league to draft an African-American player. In 1962, Willie Naulls became the first African-American coach. In 1968, the NBA was among the first leagues to start a diversity program designed to develop black coaching and management talent.
NBA Ownership Analysis
There is no doubt that there is a great deal of diversity amongst NBA owners. I am going to give them a score of 3 on this topic because they are doing very well so far and have openly gay leaders in top positions at the Association.
NBA Team Leadership Analysis
This may be one of the best areas for improvement in my opinion.
The NBA receives a low score of 2 on the gender equality topic. While they have a female president and CEO, the Association’s commitment to diversity is still lacking. Only about one eighth of the league’s ownership are women. One third of the team president positions are held by women and just over one third of general manager positions are held by women.
Could This Get Better?
The good news for the NBA is that they already have players from backgrounds that would normally be underrepresented in professional sports. I believe that there is still a lot of room for growth in this area as well as in hiring practices and sponsorships with products geared toward women.