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Diversity is a Way of Life at Wal-Mart

Our commitment to diversity is not just something we talk about, it’s who we are.  Because we are committed to diversity, we believe we can better serve our more than 100 million weekly customers and provide a positive work environment for our 1.3 million U.S. associates. We know that attracting diverse customers, associates and suppliers is critical to our success. Our dedication to diversity extends from our board of directors, to our associates; from our suppliers, to our customers; and to every aspect of our business. We have long maintained diversity initiatives including personnel practices and supplier programs to help build and retain a diverse workforce and supplier base along with varied community outreach programs. 

Wal-Mart is a Diverse Employer:

As the country’s largest private employer we place having a diverse and multi-cultural workforce—at all levels—among our top priorities. We are a leading employer of Hispanic-Americans in the U.S. with more than 150,000 Hispanic associates; a leading employer of African-Americans with more than 225,000 African-American associates; an employer of more than 815,000 women; and an employer of more than 240,000 seniors who are 55 and older.

Our 14-member board of directors includes two women, two African-Americans and two Hispanic-Americans.

In 2003, we established an Office of Diversity and appointed a chief diversity officer. Her team serves as the company’s focal point for diversity initiatives that place Wal-Mart among corporate leaders in this regard.

Spearheaded by our Office of Diversity, Wal-Mart is making great strides in the diversity arena. In 2005, Wal-Mart was named on the Diversity Inc. Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. Other accolades include: Top 30 Companies for Diversity, Black Enterprise Magazine; Top 10 Companies for Asian-Americans, Asian Enterprise Magazine; Top 25 Companies for African-Americans, Black Professional Magazine; Top Companies for Minorities, Hispanic Network Magazine; Top Companies for Supplier Diversity Programs, Hispanic Network Magazine; Top 10 Companies for Inclusion of the Hispanic Community; Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility-Corporate Index.

We provide diversity training to all levels of management and hourly associates. In fact, officer compensation is now linked to diversity goals. If company officers do not meet their individual diversity goals, bonuses are reduced by up to 15 percent.

Wal-Mart executives serve on several boards and advisory committees including the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, Center for Women's Business Research, Cuban American National Council, Girls Inc., National Council of La Raza, National Organization on Disability, National Urban League and The United Negro College Fund and several others.

Wal-Mart actively recruits talent from colleges and universities with significant populations of diverse students, including several women’s colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and colleges with a high Hispanic representation. Additionally, Wal-Mart recruited at more than 60 diversity career fairs in 2004.

We have put specific programs in place to make sure we have a talent pool of women and minorities who are well prepared for management jobs. In 2003, Wal-Mart expanded its leadership seminars designed specifically for women. In 2004, we added leadership seminars designed specifically for people of color. 

Wal-Mart Demands Diversity of its Suppliers:

Wal-Mart’s Office of Diversity was established to develop enhancements to our employment practices, supplier relationships and community outreach programs.

One such success is Wal-Mart’s Legal Diversity Program, which has won widespread acclaim from those in legal and diversity circles. This program has led to a larger, more effective and more diverse legal department that encourages diversity among its outside counsel. Vista Lyons, President of the J.L. Turner Legal Association said of the program, “It’s a fantastic idea.  That’s really the only way that a lot of law firms are going to make a significant change in recruiting minority lawyers and placing minority lawyers in key positions in firms.”

In a similar vein, another effort is our Supplier Development Program, which was created in 1994. This program helps enhance and increase business relationships and opportunities with minority and women-owned suppliers and further serves to educate our consumers and associates about our commitment to these businesses. To date, the program has grown from $2 million initially spent with minority and women-owned businesses to more than $4.2 billion.

Wal-Mart Serves Diverse Communities:

There are more than 3,800 Wal-Mart stores in the U.S., many of which are located in rural and underserved communities where a variety of cultures and ways of life converge. Each of our stores serves a variety of local needs and wants and our multicultural merchandise mix reflects our respect for our diverse customer base.
At Wal-Mart, we also know that we play an active role in the business community as well. Supporting minority- and women-owned enterprises is a sound business decision. Adequate funding serves as a major hurdle in the growth of these business enterprises, so Wal-Mart recently invested $25 million in a private equity fund for women- and minority-owned businesses that will directly support these companies.
We also have made a $1 million grant to the Business Consortium Fund, an initiative of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). The grant helps the NMSDC provide and facilitate financing to certified minority-owned business enterprises that often face difficulty in obtaining financing through normal lending sources.
Wal-Mart is committed to fostering the development of successful minority- and women-owned businesses by providing scholarships to the leaders of tomorrow. In 2005, Wal-Mart donated $1.5 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The donation includes $1 million to establish the Wal-Mart Emergency Assistance Fund, which provides grants to students from any city or state, pursuing any major, as long as each scholarship completes the student’s financial aid package. The remaining $500,000 is for operating support at UNCF’s 38 member schools.
Additionally, Wal-Mart has made charitable donations to numerous organizations that promote diversity, such as: the Black Retail Action Group, the Business Women’s Network / Diversity Best Practices, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Gathering of Nations, the International Women’s Forum, League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Association of Female Executives, the National Council on Aging, the National Council of LaRaza, the National Organization on Disability, the National Urban League, and the Organization of Chinese-Americans.

For more information on Wal-Mart’s commitment to diversity, please visit www.walmartfacts.com.