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Walmart Releases 2021 ‘Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report’

Retailer highlights 7 key takeaways, pledges continued progress
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According to Walmart's 2021 "Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report," the company's workforce is increasingly diverse and intersectional.

Walmart has issued its 2021 “Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report,” which highlights the retailer’s progress in this area, as well as pointing out where there’s room for growth. “We are taking a long-term view and have seen strong momentum building over the last two years,” wrote Donna Morris, Walmart’s EVP, chief people officer, and Ben Hasan, the company’s SVP and global chief culture, diversity, equity and inclusion officer, in a joint internal memo to all U.S.-based associates.

Walmart noted seven key takeaways from the report:

  1. Diverse representation at officer level is rising. The company has seen steady growth in U.S. officer representation (VP level and higher), with women accounting for 33.80% of officers in fiscal year 2022, up 2% from 31.80% in fiscal 2020. Meanwhile, people-of-color officer representation was 26.60% for fiscal 2022, a 1.72% increase from 24.88% in fiscal 2020, driven by a 3.15% rise in Black and African-American officers during that period (6.45% in fiscal 2020 to 9.60% in fiscal 2022).
  2. People of color are nearing half of Walmart’s total U.S. workforce. In addition to the officer statistics noted above, hourly people-of-color representation was up 3.38%, from 45.95% in fiscal 2020 to 49.33% in fiscal 2022, while management representation was up 2.59%, from 35.92% in fiscal 2020 to 38.51% in fiscal 2022. Those gains have spurred growth of overall U.S. workforce representation for people of color to nearly half of Walmart’s total U.S. workforce, at 48.70% in fiscal 2022, up 3.51%, from 45.19% in fiscal 2020.
  3. Walmart’s workforce is increasingly intersectional. The company continues to see an increase in associates who identify as two or more races as total U.S. workforce representation for 2-plus races grew from 2.63% in fiscal 2020 to 3.04% in fiscal 2022, and officer representation for 2-plus races grew from 2.07% in fiscal 2020 to 3.20% in fiscal 2022.
  4. Women and people of color in management are being promoted at rates higher than they’re represented. In fiscal year 2022, U.S. women management associates comprised 44.14% of U.S. management associates but accounted for 45.05% of total management promotions. Similarly, people of color represented 38.51% of U.S. management associates in fiscal 2022 but received 39.97% of total management promotions. Black and African-American associates represented 11.94% of U.S. management in fiscal 2022 but received 12.75% of total management promotions, and Hispanic associates represented 10.71% of U.S. management and received 12.33% of total management promotions.
  5. The Accessibility Center of Excellence marked its first year. Walmart revealed the formation of it Accessibility Center of Excellence (ACE) on Global Accessibility Awareness Day in May 2021, and one year later, ACE is now working across the company to boost physical and digital accessibility for associates and customers with disabilities through the development and implementation of scalable strategies.
  6. Associate resource groups (ARGs) remain an integral part of Walmart’s success. The company’s ARGs continued to deliver impactful programming, including by LGBTQ+ allyship training led by the PRIDE group; powerful sessions for International Women’s Day from the Women’s Resource Community and in remembrance of the murder of George Floyd by the Black & African American Resource Group; and the SERVES military group’s support of a pilot of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship program.
  7. Walmart’s work extends into the communities it serves. Initiatives include support for Afghan refugees through funding for No One Left Behind and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, as well as grant and in-kind support to create equity in disaster recovery for underrepresented and vulnerable communities via the NAACP, the Foundation for Louisiana, The United Houma Nation, First Peoples Conservation Council of Louisiana and Greenville Rancheria. 

As the Walmart moves forward, Morris and Hasan wrote in the memo that the company would host a Racial Equity Milestone Meeting on June 22 “to share our progress on work to advance equity for all.”

“We’ll continue to create programs, build bridges and open doors where they were once closed,” the execs affirmed in closing. “We won’t let perfect get in the way of progress and will remain steadfast in our focus that small actions, over time, have lasting impact. Belonging begins with us.”

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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