Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. – 2012 50 Out Front # 10


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Bentonville, AR
2.2 million employees
CEO: Michael T. Duke
CDE: Sharon Orlopp
www. walmartstores.com

Diversity mission: At Walmart, we believe that business wins when everyone matters, and that the true strength of diversity is unleashed when each associate is encouraged to reach their full potential. Diversity then becomes the foundation for an inclusive, sustainable business that embraces and respects differences, develops our associates, serves our customers, partners with our communities, and builds upon an inclusive supplier base. We make diversity part of our business plan, ensuring we can continue to be a global leader in all aspects of diversity and inclusion.

Having established its Office of Diversity in 2003 to foster inclusion and create a high-performance corporate culture, Walmart remains committed to this task. Michael Duke, president/CEO, states, “Inclusion is a powerful word, and it’s also a powerful action. At Walmart, it really stems from something that is deeply rooted in our culture and is at the heart of who we are: respect for the individual. Walmart now operates in 27 countries, and we recognize that our associates make us a better business and a better member of our communities because of their great diversity in perspectives, backgrounds and skills. They help us better understand and serve our customers, which is critical in today’s fast-changing global economy and workforce. We must unlock the full potential of our global workforce by giving every associate the opportunity to learn, grow, and advance. Highly engaged associates lead to high-performing teams, and they also go out into the world and make a real difference.” The underlying belief in the power of inclusion is woven into all of Walmart’s programs with its associates, charitable giving programs, and relationships with over 3,000 of its suppliers. Sam Walton, Walmart founder (1962), understood that it would take collaboration among people with different points of view and backgrounds to help customers save money and live better lives. Half a century later, the commitment to embracing and incorporating diversity has fueled Walmart’s growth from a small, rural discount store to thousands of retail locations across 27 countries. Walmart’s supplier diversity program concentrates on ensuring that minority and women-owned businesses have the opportunity to become integral parts of its supplier chain. Seeded in 1994 with $2 million from Women and Minority Business Enterprise suppliers, the program continues to focus on the development and support of businesses owned by minorities and women. Through education, advocacy, and mentoring, the program is expanding its current pool of diverse suppliers, creating prosperity through empowerment and promoting economic well-being in the communities Walmart serves. Sharon Orlopp, global officer of diversity and senior vice president of corporate HR, says, “We are dedicated to broadening our diversity and inclusion efforts throughout our entire company. Our commitment is rooted in a rich culture that guides our focus and shapes our efforts. We are moving forward with a clear mission to become a global leader in diversity and inclusion. We’re accelerating our diversity journey to drive better business solutions, build higher performing teams, and cultivate a more inclusive culture with the support of our leadership and the efforts of our more than 2.2 million associates around the world”. To stay connected to the best and brightest suppliers, Walmart partners with organizations such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and the USBLN Disability Supplier Diversity Program.