Nurturing Diversity at Every Level of Our Company
We are continuing our outreach with minority scholarships which includes our Emerging Scholars Initiative with the University of Illinois-Chicago. Each year, we sponsor 20 to 25 scholarships for first-generation minority students to attend the university. In addition, scholarship recipients are partnered with a Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club mentor to assist them as they prepare to enter the work force.
We also grew our partnerships through participation in the professional associations such as the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the Society for Women in Engineering, the National Society for Black Engineers and the National Association of Black Accountants, among others.
Further, we continue to increase our outreach to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and women’s colleges. In 2006, nearly 38 percent of the colleges and universities we recruited from were HBCUs, HSIs and women’s colleges. This level of engagement allows our leadership team to share their unique stories and personal experiences during their tenure with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Providing this type of exposure creates a greater recruiting impact and leverages our commitment on campuses across the United States. In addition, members of our leadership team serve on a number of boards of diverse colleges and universities.
While the tactics may have changed with a greater emphasis on proactive rather than reactive recruiting, the goal remains the same – to hire qualified, talented individuals.
We work to create and nurture relationships with community-based women and minority organizations to benefit the communities we serve, while improving our business environment. It is critical to our business that we have the strategic alliances to assist in the execution of our business plans. We maintain important relationships with such diverse groups as the National Urban League, the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and Asian Women in Business, Women in Public Policy, the National Association of Women Business Owners and many others.
However, promoting diversity goes beyond recruiting and maintaining a diverse work force. As our work force becomes more diverse, we have a responsibility to build an atmosphere of inclusion by helping managers be aware of, respect and value differences. We will continue to be challenged with ensuring diversity is integrated at the core of its operations and is seen as a business imperative.
Our diversity efforts are not contained to the United States. In fact, in recent years we’ve begun to expand our efforts to international markets. The “Senoras de Atendimiento” program in Brazil is just one of many we have initiated to promote diversity in our international stores. This initiative brings senior citizens into the work force by creating teams of senior women to fill a number of important customer service roles in our stores. In Mexico, we are certified in the Gender Equity Model, and in Mexico – as in China and Brazil – nearly half of all Associates are women. As we continue to enter new markets, it will be critical that we build diversity strategies that are unique to individual countries.
Managing Diversity and Inclusion Training
In 2006, we continued to partner with Novations Group, Inc., one of the leading outside experts in diversity training, to provide diversity and inclusion training programs designed to teach Associates to work with, appreciate and understand people from all cultures and backgrounds.
To ensure we continue to foster an environment of inclusion and increase Associate engagement, we will have to continuously explore diversity training methods that will assist managers in transforming diversity knowledge into specific leadership behaviors and practices.
The Diversity Development Series provides Associates with a forum to discuss current diversity trends and challenges significantly impacting Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.’s marketplace and work force. The Women in Leadership (WIL) and Minorities in Leadership (MIL) Programs have been expanded as a corporate program to provide leadership development while exploring the impact of gender and race on management competencies, such as communication, delegation and team building. As the audience expanded and diversified and the discussions matured, the program began to transcend normative leadership topics and primary definitions of diversity. While staying true to the nature of the WIL and MIL seminar series, the new Diversity Development Series allows the Company to further explore all dimensions of Associates’ diverse backgrounds that impact Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.’s business practices and marketplaces. These seminars enable our managers to transform diversity knowledge into specific leadership behaviors and practices that develop, motivate and utilize the talents and skills of a diverse work force to achieve superior business results.
As the marketplace continues to become increasingly diverse, it will be our challenge and responsibility to provide Associates with development and training courses that will assist in their understanding of current and future work force and marketplace trends. This will ensure managers are equipped with the necessary tools and resources to effectively lead diverse, high-performing work teams.
Associate Resource Groups
At Wal-Mart, we believe that a sense of community enhances our ability to attract, retain and develop diverse and representative talent. We recognize that Associate Resource Groups are instrumental in helping us develop that sense of community. Established in 2005, we define Associate Resource Groups as groups of Associates with common interests or backgrounds who wish to contribute to each other’s professional development, foster a sense of community, and enhance their individual and collective abilities to contribute to Wal-Mart’s business mission.
Focused on four key areas: associate recruitment and retention; diversity best practices insight; business support; and associate development, provided below are Wal-Mart’s current Associate Resource Groups:
- Asian Pacific Islander Associate Resource Group
- Hispanic Latino Associate Resource Group
- LEAD (Leading and Empowering Associates with Disabilities) Associate Resource Group
- Pride (Promoting, Respect, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity) Associate Resource Group
- Tribal Voices (Native American & American Indian) Associate Resource Group
- UNITY (African American) Associate Resource Group
- Women’s Resource Council