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Walmart Introduces Global Women’s Forum Digital Library

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has launched a digital library featuring videos from its first-ever Global Women's Forum, as part of its ongoing efforts to advance female leaders at the mega-retailer, as well as women worldwide. The April 21 half-day forum was broadcast in 10 countries, while eight more nations held their own events focusing on educating Walmart associates on key issues affecting women in the workplace. Among the forum's speakers were PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi; Katty Kay, of BBC World News; and actress Geena Davis.

The digital library offers footage from the forum, including keynote speeches and panel discussions on three development topics: confidence, mentoring and work/life integration. 

"Over half of our associates are women, and as the world's largest retailer, we know that providing development opportunities for our female associates and making this information available to women around the world can have a ripple effect on the global workforce," noted Michelle Gloeckler, EVP of consumables and health and wellness, U.S. manufacturing lead, and chair of the President's Global Council of Women Leaders. "It is our hope that this inaugural Global Women's Forum will serve as a catalyst in our work to develop the future female leaders of Walmart."

"By working together across multiple industries, we can empower women worldwide with the resources and mentorship they need to build meaningful careers," added Davis, a longtime advocate for women's issues.

The forum and the library are components of the overarching Global Women's Development Series, which aims to highlight opportunities for women to develop as leaders globally, offer accessibility and a platform to support their endeavors, and showcase female talent across Walmart. In March, the Global Women's Development Series held an International Women's Day celebration at Walmart's Bentonville, Ark., home office.

"All around the world, women are breaking new barriers and making tremendous contributions to both business and society,” said Nooyi. “The work Walmart is doing to invest in and empower women is critically important. … [PepsiCo is also] deeply committed to fostering diversity and inclusion across our workforce." She added that the two companies would continue to work together "on this shared priority."

Related Walmart initiatives include the Women's Economic Empowerment program, a critical part of which involves supporting the advancement of women at the company. Through the program, Walmart has pledged to source $20 billion from women-owned U.S. businesses and double its sourcing from women-owned businesses internationally. Further, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed to train 1 million women worldwide in retail, factories and farming.

Walmart operates 11,462 stores under 71 banners in 28 countries, and e- commerce websites in 11 countries, employing more than 2 million associates worldwide.

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