Equity & inclusion at Walmart & beyond

SASB: CG-MR-330a.1; CG-EC-330a.2
GRI: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3, 405-1
UN SDGs: 5, 8
S | Last Updated: July 7, 2021

Our aspiration

Our aspiration

Walmart aims to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within our company and society. We are focused on creating a more diverse, inclusive team at every level and fostering a culture where all associates are engaged to achieve their potential and deliver on our customer mission. We also strive to use our business and philanthropic resources to address drivers of systemic disparities in society, seeking to contribute to a collective movement to advance equity for all.

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Key metrics

Metric 81
FY2019
FY2020
FY2021
Percentage of Walmart Inc. women in the workforce globally
55%
Percentage of U.S. associates who are women
55%55%55%
Percentage of U.S. associates who are people of color
44%45%47%
Percentage of U.S. management who are women
43%45%46%
Percentage of U.S. management who are people of color33%35%37%
Percentage of U.S. hourly-to-hourly promotions that went to women
57%58%58%
Percentage of U.S. hourly-to-hourly promotions that went to people of color
45%44%46%
Percentage of U.S. total management promotions that went to women
43%41%46%
Percentage of U.S. total management promotions that went to people of color
38%40%39%
Percentage of U.S. officers who are women
32%31%33%
Percentage of U.S. officers who are people of color
21%24%25%
Percentage of Walmart Board of Directors who are women82
25%27%25%
Percentage of Walmart Board directors who identify as ethnically or racially diverse83
17%
Number of veterans hired and promoted

>49,500 hired

>8,300 promoted

Military spouses hired
>27,000

See all data and progress toward goals and commitments in our ESG Data Table.

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Relevance to our business & society

The case for diversity, equity and inclusion in business and society is widely documented and goes beyond fairness and justice. Numerous studies have shown that diverse, inclusive businesses tend to outperform their peers, as they attract and retain talent, foster innovation and better reflect the complex character of the customers and communities they serve.85 We believe inclusive, equitable societies foster resilience and growth, as citizens feel able to achieve and contribute to their full potential. Businesses benefit from – and can also help strengthen – diversity, equity and inclusion in their communities and society more broadly.

Yet representation throughout the workforce (especially senior levels, across sectors)86 and disparities in outcomes related to education, wealth, health, criminal justice and other societal systems. The events of 2020, including racial violence in the U.S. and COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on communities of color and women, serve as a further call to action for everyone, including companies, to work for greater equity and inclusion within their own operations and across society.

Walmart’s associate and customer base reflects the communities we serve: widely diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and abilities as well as religious and political views, culture, socioeconomic background and education. We believe that our business and the communities we serve are stronger and more resilient when all our associates, suppliers, customers and community members are included, heard and empowered. Our stakeholders have indicated they want Walmart to be a transformative force for equity and inclusion in our business and beyond – in how we serve our customers, create opportunities for our associates, develop our suppliers and use our business and philanthropic resources in partnership with others to address systemic challenges in communities.

Walmart’s approach

With over 2 million associates, a presence in thousands of communities and an extensive supplier base, we believe we can use our business to accelerate progress toward a more diverse and inclusive society in ways that also strengthen our company and better serve our stakeholders. Our strategies include:

  • Fostering a culture of inclusion: We seek a culture of inclusion where all associates feel they belong, are empowered and can be themselves. We aim to set the tone at the top through a diverse board and executive team, and we strive to help every associate to be an inclusive leader who leads and makes decisions based upon our cultural values of Service, Respect, Excellence and Integrity.
  • Hiring, developing and promoting associates: We aim to build diverse and inclusive teams throughout our business by offering people opportunities for growth and supporting them in their development.
  • Measurement and reporting: To inform our action plans and to inspire other companies to disclose progress, we track and disclose key performance indicators on diversity and inclusion twice a year.
  • Inclusive sourcing: Retail supply chains can help create economic opportunity for the millions of people around the world who produce food and other products. Walmart supports diverse suppliers and uses business and philanthropic resources to help smaller producers access markets.
  • Advancing equity in society: We aim to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in society more broadly, tackling drivers of systemic disparities, through business initiatives and philanthropic resources.
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Key strategies & progress

Fostering our culture of inclusion | Hiring, developing & promoting associates | Measurement & reporting | Inclusive sourcing | Advancing equity in society

Fostering our culture of inclusion

We seek a culture of inclusion where all associates feel they belong, are empowered and can be themselves. We aim to set the tone at the top through a diverse board and executive team, and we strive to help every associate to be an inclusive leader who leads and makes decisions based upon our cultural values of service, respect, excellence and integrity.

Governance & accountability

  • Walmart Inc. Board of Directors is comprised of directors with diverse backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints, which we believe improves board dialogue and decision-making. As stated in our Corporate Governance Guidelines, the Board has adopted a policy requiring that search firms include women and minority candidates among the pool of potential directors, and we ask Board members to annually disclose their gender and race/ethnicity. In Fiscal Year 2021, the Walmart Board included 25% women87 and 17% people that identify as ethnically or racially diverse.88 Management provides recurring culture, diversity, equity and inclusion updates to senior leadership, including our President and CEO, and the Compensation and Management Development Committee of the Board of Directors.
  • President’s Inclusion Council is comprised of eleven Walmart executives (including President and CEO Doug McMillon, who chairs the Council) and serve in an advisory capacity to Walmart’s Executive Committee and the entire organization to help Walmart sharpen its culture and dial up inclusiveness across the enterprise. The members represent each of Walmart’s business units and corporate centers of excellence, and serve for a two-year term.
  • Global Chief Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer leads our Global Office of Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (CDEI) and is responsible for the activation and strategic evolution of Walmart’s culture; the development of behaviors that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels; and the promotion of the company’s external reputation through reporting and benchmarking.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in performance evaluations and compensation decisions. Inclusive Leadership Expectations (ILEs), which include participating in training sessions and mentoring fellow associates, are part of annual performance evaluations for certain associates, including certain U.S.-based associates, expatriates and international market presidents. U.S.-based associates with ILEs include all U.S. officers, Home Office directors/senior directors and all field salaried management, plus Vision Center and Pharmacy managers. As of May 2021, more than 67,000 associates have ILEs as part of their annual performance evaluation. Violations of our Global Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy leading to a written disciplinary action will result in an “Unsatisfactory” rating for this section. Such violations will also lead to a reduction of an associate’s FY2022 Management Incentive Plan (MIP) payout from 25% to 100% depending on the level of violation.

For more information on our Board and other corporate governance topics, please visit our Corporate Governance website.

DEI training & education

The CDEI team shares resources, training and education to help Walmart associates become more competent as allies and inclusive leaders. Examples from FY2021, particularly focused on racial equity in the U.S., include:

  • Racial equity training. We introduced a Race & Inclusion curriculum in August 2020 for U.S. associates on Walmart’s ULearn platform. The program contains seven self-paced learning paths for Home Office associates and four field focused paths, including modules on Unconscious Bias, Inclusive Leadership, Cultural Competence and Becoming a True Ally.
  • Required racial equity training for Walmart U.S. officers. Walmart began working with the Racial Equity Institute (REI) in 2018 to offer training that examines the history of race in America as well as systemic racial inequity in its institutional and structural forms. Beginning in FY2021, all U.S. officers (Vice President and above) are now required to complete REI’s two-day Phase I workshop.
  • RACE Ahead (Raising Authentic Conversations on Equity) series. Launched in June 2020, RACE Ahead featured nine sessions including a panel conversation with senior company leaders discussing Walmart’s response to racial inequity and the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Each session encourages transparent, relevant and solutions-oriented conversations that are respectful and inclusive of multiple perspectives.

Associate belonging & community

  • Associate Listening Sessions. Our Global Chief Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer and other senior leaders held listening sessions to truly understand how the pandemic and matters of racial inequity impact the daily lives of our associates.
  • Associate resource groups. The Associate Resource Group (ARG) model remains a pivotal part of Walmart’s inclusion strategy today - helping to drive business results by aiding in the attraction, retention and development of top diverse talent; enhancing Walmart’s reputation in the community; and leveraging diversity through inclusion to drive innovation. We have nine ARGs: Asian Pacific Associates Network, Black African American Resource Group, FAVOR (interfaith), inABLE (disability), LatinX Network, PRIDE (LGBTQA+), Tribal Voices Indigenous Associate Resource Group, Walmart SERVES (veteran and military families), and the Women’s Resource Community. The ARGs originated at the Walmart Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas and have since grown to have a strong presence at eCommerce and technology offices in California and New Jersey as well as satellite locations nationwide. Walmart SERVES is leading the way in advancing ARGs to U.S. field retail and supply chain locations, and some ARGs – particularly PRIDE – have seen chapters established in International markets.
  • Mentor circles. More than 3,000 associates participate in 1,000 Lean In Mentoring Circles to support one another along their learning and development journeys.
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Awards & Recognition
  • 2020 Disability Equality Index - 100% for fifth consecutive year
  • 2021 Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index - 100% for fifth consecutive year
    • 100% — 2021 HRC Equidad – MX (Walmart Mexico)
    • 100% — 2020 HRC Equidad – CL (Walmart Chile)
    • Walmart one of 12 companies to score 100% on all three current HRC indices
  • 2021 Diversity Inc. - ranked #22 in Top 50 U.S. Companies Diversity List
    • #6 – Top Companies for LGBTQ Employees
    • #8 – Top Companies for Talent Acquisition for Women of Color
    • #10 – Top Companies for Black Executives
    • #10 – Top Companies for Mentoring
    • #13 – Top Companies for Asian American Executives
    • #14 – Top Companies for Veterans
  • 2021 Bloomberg's Gender Equality Index - third consecutive year
  • 2020 Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility Corporate Inclusion Index — 5-Star in Employment, Governance and Procurement
  • Walmart Canada - #1 – 2020 Companies Championing Diversity & Inclusion for Canadians by Solutions Research Group
  • 2020 Women’s Empowerment in the Workplace by Gender Mainstreaming Awards - Massmart Africa - 2nd (tied)

Hiring, developing & promoting associates

We are committed to creating a workplace culture where everyone can feel they belong. This includes building diverse and inclusive teams while offering people opportunities for growth and development, from entry level through the C-suite. For more information, please see our CDEI 2020 report.

Representation

We have a diverse workforce at all levels of our company, and we continue to work towards achieving even broader diversity as further discussed below. We publicly disclose representation statistics two times per year. We monitor our results compared with benchmarks.

  • Total U.S. workforce. Women and people of color comprise 55% and 47% of our U.S. associates,89 respectively, as compared to the 2020 DiversityInc Top 10 + Hall of Fame’s benchmarks of 46.6% (women) and 45.9% (people of color) for the overall workforce.
  • U.S. management. Women and people of color comprise 46% and 37% of our U.S. management associates,90 respectively. This is similar to the 2020 DiversityInc Top 10 + Hall of Fame benchmarks of 44.2% women and 36.5% people of color in management positions.
  • U.S. officers. Women and people of color comprise 33% and 25% of our U.S. officers,91 respectively as compared to the 2020 DiversityInc Top 10 + Hall of Fame benchmarks of 35.5% women and 24.0% people of color in senior management positions, respectively.
  • Board of directors. As of April 2021,92 25% of our board members were women and 17% identified as ethnically or racially diverse; these are below the 2020 DiversityInc Top 10 + Hall of Fame benchmarks of 33.7% for women and 35.2% for people of color.
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Hiring

Our approach to hiring focuses on enhancing diversity and inclusion throughout the talent pipeline. In the last year, 55% of new hires in the U.S. were people of color; 49% were women.93 Themes of our approach include:

  • Lowering barriers to entry: Entry-level jobs provide economic opportunity and paths to upward mobility, but sometimes people face barriers to employment. Walmart conducts assessments of the barriers that impede the progress of frontline associates, and we seek to remove these obstacles. For example, we do not have arbitrary education requirements — even our store managers are not required to have a college degree — and we were one of the first retailers to “ban the box” that asks about prior criminal convictions on the initial job application. Such efforts allow us to broaden our talent pool and provide more people with the opportunity to secure gainful employment, get valuable experience and advance on the job.
  • Focusing on diverse recruiting. We are broadening the talent pool and promoting equitable and inclusive recruiting practices.
    • We work with a range of partners to source from diverse channels, and we lead recruitment marketing campaigns aimed at underrepresented candidate pools. For example, we are redeveloping university recruitment programs including at many Historically Black Colleges and Universities such as North Carolina A&T State University, where we are collaborating on the Equity in Education Initiative.
    • Through programs such as the World of Walmart Diversity Bootcamp and Leadership Summit, we help college students prepare for job interviews.
    • In addition to seeking diverse candidate slates and interview panels, we recently implemented additional diversity hiring guidelines such as removing photos from the recruiting process to avoid introducing unconscious bias. We launched new interview training workshops to improve the structure and objectivity of the interview process, including training to mitigate unconscious bias among interviewers.
    • In addition, we use gender-neutral job descriptions and refrain from requesting salary history to set pay for external candidates.
  • Promoting diverse talent internally. We post all management openings from the Vice President level and below internally first to create development and advancement opportunities for Walmart associates.
  • Veterans and military spouses. In July 2020, Walmart announced we exceeded the hiring goal set forth through the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment in 2013 to hire 250,000 U.S. veterans by 2020 with 265,000 U.S. veteran hires. Additionally, more than 44,000 of those associates have been promoted to roles with higher pay and greater responsibility at Walmart and Sam’s Club. On Veteran’s Day in 2018, recognizing the need to broaden employment opportunities for military families, Walmart introduced the Military Spouses Career Connection. In FY2021, we hired more than 27,000 military spouses through the program.
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Development

To help associates acquire the experiences and skills needed for success in the jobs of today and tomorrow, Walmart invests in associate development — including new roles and career paths, cross-training, on-the-job coaching and training such as Walmart Academy, and access to our Live Better U education program. Read our Human capital: good jobs & advancement for associates brief for more detail on our training and development programs. Additionally, some highlights particularly relevant for our diversity, equity and inclusion aspirations include:

  • Focused development programs. This includes Gateways, a two-year program that helps develop diverse talent within Walmart’s leadership ranks; Women in Retail, the Canadian store management development program that increased the percentage of women store managers from approximately 15% in 2012 to approximately 34% in 2020; and the McKinsey Black Executive Program, a three-month program for a select group of Black and African American officers within Walmart and Sam’s Club that are one or two levels below the C-suite. In addition, Walmart joined the OneTen Coalition as part of a commitment to upskill, hire and promote one million Black individuals over the next ten years in family-sustaining roles based on individuals’ skills rather than credentials (what the OneTen Coalition refers to as a “skills-first paradigm”).
  • Data-driven talent review. We also strive to make our talent review process data-driven and objective. For example, we utilize a talent toolkit that equips leaders to have career conversations with associates prior to reviews, helping leaders identify talent potential while recognizing and mitigating unconscious bias.
  • Live Better U participation. Through our Live Better U (LBU) program, Walmart offers U.S. associates free high school completion and the chance to graduate debt-free with an associate or bachelor’s degree from top non-profit universities and colleges through Guild. Walmart has worked with Guild to curate these programs for relevance to career paths at Walmart and beyond (for example, Pharmacy Technician and Optician career diplomas). Walmart associates of color make up 39% of the participants in LBU and, according to a study by the Lumina Foundation, Walmart associates of color have higher rates of completion than in traditional higher education programs. Our own data show LBU students also have lower turnover and twice the promotion rates of non-LBU students; Black LBU students are 2.1 times more likely to be promoted than the average Walmart associate. We also work with education providers to confer college credit for Walmart Academy training programs; this streamlines the process of getting a degree.

Promotions

We are focused on building diverse, high-performing teams at every level, advancing associates based on meaningful factors such as qualifications, experience and performance.

  • U.S. hourly to management promotions. Approximately 75% of our U.S. salaried store, club and supply chain management started their careers in hourly positions. 36% of U.S. hourly to management promotions went to people of color, 50% went to women and 18% went to women of color. 94
  • Internal job postings. We post all management openings from the Vice President level and below internally first to create development and advancement opportunities for Walmart associates.
  • Total U.S. management promotions. 39% of total management promotions went to people of color, 46% to women and 19% to women of color. 95
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Pay & pay equity

Our latest pay equity analysis in the U.S. confirms that, taking into account relevant factors such as position, tenure, and location, Walmart pays associates equitably regardless of race, ethnicity and gender. We conduct analyses of pay and compensation practices in consultation with expert third-party firms following industry-leading standards. We correct disparities through adjustments to pay or practices. To date, our analyses have focused primarily on the U.S.; we are in the process of expanding to cover our global scope and commit to annually updating this disclosure.

Fair pay is foundational to Walmart’s high-performance culture. Pay equity analyses are part of a larger set of practices to support and develop diverse talent and to treat all associates fairly, consistent with our core value of respect for the individual. Examples include:

  • Hiring Practices: Gender-neutral job descriptions; interview training workshops and standardized interview questions; not requesting a salary history to set pay for external candidates; diverse candidate slates for U.S. officers and the Board of Directors
  • Pay Controls: Market-based starting pay rates; limiting discretion on pay; reviewing pay and promotion decisions before finalization
  • Transparency: Providing the pay range for a position upon an associate’s request; supporting associate inquiries regarding pay and providing confidential resources for raising concerns

For more information on associate pay and more details on pay equity, please see the Human capital: good jobs and advancement for associates issue brief.

Measurement & reporting

We track and publicly disclose key performance indicators on diversity (representation) and inclusion (engagement and sentiment indices) to inform action plans for continued progress.

Walmart Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion scorecard & dashboards

The CDEI Dashboard provides Walmart’s U.S.-based officers (Vice President and above) and their HR business partners (HRBPs) with monthly-refreshed data on the representation and movement (hires, promotions and exits) for women and people of color within their respective organizations. Officers and their HRBPs utilize data and insights from the CDEI Dashboard to inform customized CDEI action plans for their organization. All users of the CDEI Dashboard must complete training on how to properly utilize diversity data in decision-making prior to being granted access to the dashboard.

The CDEI Monthly Report is a synopsis of current diversity representation and movement (hires, promotions and exits) for women and people of color which is shared with the senior leaders of Walmart and Sam’s Club. The President & CEO of Walmart Inc. receives an enterprise-wide monthly report while each member of the Executive Committee (direct reports to the President & CEO) and their HRBPs receive a customized report specific to their operating segment. A streamlined version of this report, with a specific focus on representation and movement of women and people of color at the officer level (Vice President and above), is shared quarterly with the Compensation and Management Development Committee of the Board of Directors of Walmart Inc.

Public disclosures

In August 2020, we committed to increasing reporting on the diversity of Walmart Inc. to twice a year and expanding the scope of metrics we disclose. These disclosures include data on U.S. representation by ethnicity at the hourly, management and officer levels; U.S. women of color representation; U.S. promotion and new hire data by ethnicity; and global and international gender representation at the nonmanagement, management and officer levels. Read our 2020 CDEI Report for the most recent disclosure. We regularly evaluate the scope of metrics we disclose.

In addition, beginning this year, we will annually disclose the prior year’s gender, racial and ethnic composition of Walmart’s U.S. workforce by EEO-1 job category as set forth in the Section D Employment Data section of the Consolidated EEO-1 Report that Walmart files with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). We will post this to our corporate website annually.

Investing in data & insights into private sector diversity

Walmart, along with Policy Link and the Kellogg Foundation, collaborated with McKinsey & Company on “Race in the Workplace: The Black Experience.” The research includes qualitative and quantitative analysis from 24 companies on the challenges facing Black Americans employed in the private sector. The findings further reinforce the importance of addressing complex systemic issues through our internal people processes, Shared Value Networks and Center for Racial Equity.

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Inclusive sourcing

Retail supply chains can create economic opportunity for the millions of people around the world who produce food and other products. Walmart supports diverse suppliers and small producers, using business and philanthropic resources to help them access markets. For example, in April 2021, Walmart announced a new program offering qualified diverse or minority-owned suppliers faster payments at low rates, with the goal of making access to working capital more affordable and equitable.

For more information on our supplier inclusion work, please see our Product supply chains and Supplier opportunity briefs and our Supplier inclusion website. See also a report highlighting how our Market Access portfolio is working to advance women smallholder farmers.

Advancing equity in society

Walmart aims to advance diversity, equity and inclusion not only in our own company, but in society more broadly through business initiatives (for example, our jobs and sourcing) and philanthropic resources.

Racial equity Shared Value Networks

In mid-2020, Walmart established four Shared Value Networks (SVN) to help advance racial equity in the U.S. criminal justice, education, financial, and health care systems, with a particular focus on disparities affecting Black and African American people.

Each SVN team, comprised of Walmart associates, is charged with studying these national systems and pursuing business strategies that draw on Walmart capabilities (such as products, services, technology, sourcing from diverse suppliers, jobs and career paths) to contribute to positive and lasting change in the systems (for example, sourcing from Black-owned businesses; creating development programs, which are inclusive of our diverse talent at Walmart; providing high-quality, affordable health care; see below for examples).

The SVNs make recommendations to the SVN Steering Committee, led by Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart Inc., which assign responsibility for implementation of promising initiatives to the relevant business unit and oversees progress overall.

Shared Value Networks (SVN) & Center for Racial Equity

Through business and philanthropic initiatives, Walmart’s SVNs and the Center for Racial Equity seek to address root causes of systemic racism affecting the Black and African American community in the U.S.

Theme
SVNs

Following six months of discovery assessing gaps in social systems, issues and solutions, each SVN identified three pillars of focus.
Center for Racial Equity 
Criminal
justice
  1. Prevention (Prior to a citizen entering the criminal justice system): Evaluating programs and partnerships to provide retail and community-based implicit bias training; assessing alternative justice programs that help retailers minimize or eliminate negative individual interactions with law enforcement; influencing the Criminal Justice process to help reduce unnecessary incarceration; and creating an internal role focused on building strategic partnerships between Walmart, Walmart associates, communities and local law enforcement nationwide.
  2. Intervention (During a citizen’s time in the system): Using business actions to intervene with and help improve the criminal justice system, including policy advocacy (Hate Crime laws, Fines and Fees reform and Occupational Licensing reform); working with academia; and utilizing collaborative relationships, such as with the Business Roundtable.
  3. After care (Post incarceration of a citizen): Creating pathways to employment for re-entrants and convening Community of Practice to share learnings and best approach to evolve hiring practices so non-violent, formerly incarcerated persons are appropriately considered, onboarded and integrated. For example, the SVN is working on Second Chance Hiring pilot programs, which will include trainings for store leaders and non-profit partners to support candidates through our hiring process.
Supporting community-based crime prevention and developing systems to support formerly incarcerated applicants re-entering the workforce.
Education
  1. Equitable advancement with training and reskilling: Partner with and/or support organizations that focus on training, hiring and advancing Black Americans, including leveraging Walmart Academy to deliver high-quality, low-cost training in the communities where we operate, while advocating for laws that provide access to educational programming and job training.
  2. Higher education access and outcomes: Strengthen partnerships to advance pathways for access and bridge high school students into work/higher education while further developing sourcing programs with HBCUs that provide opportunity and/or advancement.
  3. Digital skills and connectivity: Support initiatives and policies aimed at providing affordable, reliable access and connectivity to low-income communities while leveraging internal opportunities for upskilling digital capabilities.

Working to strengthen diverse talent pipelines and building systems for equitable access to and advancement in the workforce.

Examples:

Walmart:

  • Committed up to $3 million to OneTen, a coalition of leading companies in the United States that are coming together to upskill, hire and advance one million Black workers over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs and opportunities for advancement.
  • Committed up to $500,000 to Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) to operationalize the Take on Race Coalition’s 1 Million Connected Devices Initiative.

The Walmart Foundation:

  • Committed up to $1 million to Student Freedom Initiative (SFI), which aims to provide alternative financing for HBCU juniors and seniors majoring in STEM to help reduce their student loans/debt.
  • Committed up to $100,000 to help support programs at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center).
Financial
  1. Associate: Empower associates to strengthen their financial capabilities, reduce stress and make choices that lead to a healthier financial future with embedded and intentional efforts to advance racial equity.
  2. Minority spend: Build upon existing supplier inclusion commitments while expanding and standardizing efforts across shelf-ready products and GNFR. For example, Walmart has launched an internal Supplier Inclusion Advisory Council. We are reimagining our supplier inclusion program to enable greater access for diverse businesses to our Merchandising and GNFR (goods not for resale) supply chains.
  3. Community: Leverage internal learning to improve the economic conditions for customers and in the communities surrounding our stores and clubs.
Identifying initiatives that will help create opportunities for minority-owned businesses.
Health care
  1. Food insecurity and nutrition education: Limited or uncertain availability of food in many communities leads to poor dietary quality resulting in chronic diseases. We are working to help all people have the opportunity to make the food choices that allow them to live a long, healthy life regardless of their income, race or ethnicity.
  2. Infant and maternal health: All mothers and children deserve an opportunity to thrive at the start of and throughout their life journey and not be negatively impacted by access to prenatal and postpartum care.
  3. Cardiometabolic syndrome: Enable access to quality care and drive innovation that delivers immediate and lasting improvements in the fight against diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

Exploring ways to provide greater accessibility to better health and wellness to reduce health disparities in underserved and racially diverse communities.

Examples:

The Walmart Foundation:

  • Committed up to $5 million to the American Heart Association’s Bernard J. Tyson’s Impact Fund to community-based organizations and entrepreneurs in Atlanta and Chicago who are working to increase access to affordable and healthier food in communities of color.
  • Committed up to $2.75 million to support organizations that are working on interventions in and with diverse communities around the U.S. to increase education, outreach and awareness of COVID-19 vaccines.

Center for Racial Equity

To extend the societal impact of Walmart’s business SVNs, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed up to $100 million over five years to create the Center for Racial Equity within Walmart.org,96 focused on eradicating systemic disparities experienced by Black and African American communities in the U.S. The Center supports efforts such as research, advocacy, innovation of practices and tools, stakeholder convening and nonprofit capacity building. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation also seek to provide support to nonprofits led by people of color, particularly Black and African American leaders, and to encourage greater diversity at predominantly white nonprofits.

The Center announced its first round of grants in February 2021, totaling $14.3 million from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to 16 nonprofit organizations. Recipients included organizations focused on improving health equity, increasing awareness and education on the COVID-19 vaccine and providing financing to students at historically Black colleges and universities. Read about our grantees in our newsroom.

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Building more inclusive & resilient communities

In addition to our work through the Center for Racial Equity and the SVNs, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation help to build inclusive and resilient communities by providing targeted support to diverse communities, including in times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and by supporting initiatives that unite people in communities across the U.S.

Our work to support diverse communities includes:

  • People of color. In addition to initiatives of the Racial Equity SVNs and the Center for Racial Equity, Walmart supports organizations and efforts to advance equity for people of color. For example, Walmart executives serve on the boards of National Urban League, the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship and United Negro College Fund. Walmart hosted a matching grant campaign with the League of United Latin American Citizens and supported the American Indian College Fund’s efforts to purchase technology for students to complete degrees online during the pandemic.
  • Women. In addition to efforts to advance women associates and empower women in supply chains described elsewhere in Walmart’s ESG disclosures, Walmart supports community initiatives focused on women (especially women of color). Recent examples include: co-founding the LeadHERship Coalition; creating the #SparktheFuture podcast to inform, advocate and address obstacles for women and communities of color; and collaboration with Working Mother Media, Enterprising Women, Women Presidents’ Organization, Women Impacting Public Policy, International Women’s Forum and the Center for Asian Pacific American Women. Walmart executives also serve on the boards of organizations such as the Center for Asian Pacific American Women, Enterprising Women, Women Impacting Public Policy and Women Presidents’ Organization.
  • Disability community. We partner with several disability organizations, including the Association for University Centers on Disability and the American Association for People with Disabilities. We supported virtual celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with events featuring panels on topics such as workplace accommodations and breakout sessions for attendees to connect with one another.
  • LGBTQ+ community. Building off a long philanthropic relationship with PFLAG, an organization for LGBTQ+ people and their families and allies, in 2020 the Walmart Foundation provided a grant to support PFLAG in strengthening and expanding their programming into more communities with a focus on communities of color and creating digital supports and assets to ensure people can connect to each other during the pandemic.
  • Welcoming communities. In 2020, along with the Ad Council, we helped launch the Belonging Begins with US campaign in the U.S., dedicated to fostering a more welcoming nation that fully includes those not born in the U.S. We donated media inventory on Walmart.com and ad space on our in-store TV walls to drive awareness of the campaign. In 2020, we provided resources to our customers and associates to ensure they had the information needed to participate in local, state and federal elections, and we partnered with the U.S. Census to drive engagement and help communities better understand the advantages of participating in the 2020 Census.

In addition, we apply an equity lens for our approach to our philanthropic grantmaking programs, including those focused on issues such as:

  • COVID-19 response. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provided over $43 million for COVID response, including over $2 million to fund research on how COVID-19 has impacted communities of color as it relates to disaster preparedness and response as well as community inclusion and belonging. Grantees included Healthcare Ready, Arizona State University Foundation, Giving Back Fund and Partnership for a New American Economy. As part of the COVID response effort, the Walmart Foundation granted $2.75 million to promote COVID-19 vaccine equity and address vaccine hesitancy in vulnerable populations in communities in the U.S. Grantees included NAACP Empowerment Programs, UnidosUS, the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and the Association of Asian-Pacific Community Health Organizations.
  • Healthier food for all. The Walmart Foundation focuses on increasing access to food in rural geographies and racial and ethnic communities experiencing disproportionate rates of food insecurity, specifically Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. For example, the Walmart Foundation has invested over $10 million in grants to American Heart Association’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund, University of Arkansas Foundation’s Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, Chickasaw Nation, UnidosUS, InterTribal Council of Michigan, National Congress of American Indians and Share Our Strength’s rural outreach initiative.

Community resilience grows when residents feel they belong, can depend on each other and can meaningfully contribute. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation collaborate with other funders and organizations to build trust, deepen empathy and encourage people to work across lines of difference in communities. For example:

  • Ad Council’s Love Has No Label Campaign: In 2020, Walmart sponsored the Ad Council’s “Love Has No Labels” campaign, which strives to promote diversity, equity and inclusion of all people regardless of differences in race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability. This sponsorship will ensure that the Ad Council has the resources to respond to the events of our time by creating digital and other assets to promote a more inclusive world. In 2020, the Council released several ads including “Fight the Virus. Fight the Bias,” and “Fight for Freedom,” which took on some of the most pressing inclusion issues of the year.
  • Aspen Institute’s Weave Initiative: The Weaver movement seeks to repair America’s social fabric, which is frayed by distrust, division and exclusion. Weavers are working across the country to end loneliness and isolation and weave inclusive communities while building social trust. Weave: The Social Fabric Project of the Aspen Institute aims to shift our culture from hyper-individualism that is all about personal success, to relationalism that puts relationships at the center of our lives. The Walmart Foundation’s $250,000 grant provides Weave with the support to enter the initiative’s next phase of empowering, supporting and growing local Weavers across communities nationwide.

Challenges

  • Opportunity is not equally distributed across society, particularly along racial, ethnic, economic, and gender lines, and there is uneven representation at senior levels of organizations.
  • There are societal disparities related to criminal justice, education, financial, healthcare, and other systems and there currently is a lack of effective public policy solutions to meaningfully advance racial equity in societal systems. While Walmart is working to impact those systems for greater equity, Walmart is one actor and greater progress is dependent on overall societal movement towards equity and inclusion.
  • Walmart’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy is dependent in large part on the success of our overall associate opportunity/human capital strategy—particularly identifying sources of diverse talent and building a pipeline into the company, retention of skilled, diverse associates, and upskilling our diverse frontline workforce. The effects of immediate actions, such as seeding the talent development and leadership pipeline with diverse talent, will be felt over the course of several years and certain strategies may not yield immediate results, particularly at higher levels of the organization.
  • Walmart is subject to local, national, and international economic trends and realities. There is strong competition among employers for skilled, diverse workers, and labor surpluses and shortages can impact retail businesses.
  • Walmart’s business is evolving rapidly. Customer trends towards omnichannel shopping, including pickup and delivery, change the skills necessary in Walmart's frontline workforce and may outpace incumbent associates' skills and readiness. In the United States, minority workers are at higher risk of employment disruption from automation and technological advances than others, potentially exacerbating existing disparities as technology advances and heightening the need for focus on upskilling Walmart’s frontline workforce.
  • Social science and literature on effective strategies for building diverse workforces and promoting equity at scale are still evolving.
  • National and global catastrophic events, including pandemics, can exacerbate many of the above factors.

Additional resources