Cosmira Souza Nunes
“Could it be? They are giving this opportunity to women?” Cosmira Souza Nunes could hardly believe the news. Walmart was offering her a job as a mason, a “man’s job.” Even though she had longdreamed of becoming a mason, such opportunities weren’t available for women in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil.
But Walmart Brazil is helping to change that. We’ve committed to hiring graduates of “Women Building Autonomy” – a program developed by the city of Sao Bernardo do Campo Department of Policies for Women and the federal government – to help us build 80 new stores in Brazil. When we decided to invest R$1.2 billion to build these stores, we saw the opportunity to help change views toward women in the Brazilian construction sector by hiring skilled women, like Cosmira, to help lay bricks.
“It is important that society acknowledges that there is a mindset in our culture that needs to change, and companies like Walmart are making a huge contribution,” said Dulce Xavier, manager of the city of Sao Bernardo do Campo Department of Policies for Women.
These days, Cosmira is laying the bricks for a new Walmart in Sao Bernardo do Compo, where she said she looks forward to bringing her four children. She has a scheduled workday, with lunch and breaks, and higher pay than her last job as a housemaid, allowing her to better support her family.
“I am truly happy and very grateful that Walmart has made this possible,” Cosmira said. “The fact that they are helping women now will help the generation to come.”