Walmart Unveils Progress on Diversity

Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
Walmart Unveils Progress on Diversity
Since 2019 the company has made progress in hiring more employees, managers and officers of color.

The gripping national debate over racial justice has prompted Walmart to overhaul the way it reports its diversity efforts.

The company with a workforce of 1.5 million in the U.S. has announced that as "part of its journey to become a more inclusive and transparent organization," it will be publishing not one but two workforce diversity reports each year. This is the first time that Walmart has ever put out a mid-year diversity report

"This challenging time is only pushing us to move faster, drive for more change and be focused on significant progress," said Donna Morris, EVP/chief people officer, Walmart. "The disparate impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color, the murder of George Floyd, and the necessary and long overdue examination of systemic racial inequity in this country have all led me to conclude that the American dream is not the same for all people. But with a workforce of 1.5 million in the U.S., and 20.69% Black and African American associates we have an incredible opportunity to role model and strive for racial equity."

In addition, the company says it has "added first-time disclosures to this mid-year report to show representation by race/ethnicity at all levels in the U.S., and representation of women at all levels in both the U.S. and internationally. The report contains more than 90 data points that are first-time disclosures."

As for those data points, the company says it is seeing positive trends across multiple areas from FY19 through FY21 YTD, including: +7.42% in management-to-management promotions for people of color (44.68% FY21 YTD); +2.97% in officers of color (24.89% FY21 YTD); and +2.2% in U.S. people of color new hires (55.03% FY21 YTD).

Walmart says all U.S.-based officers are participating in a two-day Racial Equity Institute workshop this year. The company has also introduced a self-paced race and inclusion curriculum that all U.S. associates can access to grow their understanding on cultural competence, inclusive leadership and how to become an ally.

"We will win in retail and business through our humanity, and we’ll display our humanity when we do our best to be open, understanding, kind, and accepting of others as their authentic selves," Morris said.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam's Club ranks No. 9 on the list

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