Home News Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Establishes Employment Practices Advisory Panel

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Establishes Employment Practices Advisory Panel

Panel will add to the company’s ongoing diversity and
equal opportunity employment initiatives

BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 24, 2006 – As part of its ongoing efforts to foster diversity and equal employment opportunities, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today announced the establishment of an Employment Practices Advisory Panel and the appointment of the Panel’s first two members, who are highly-respected national experts.  The Panel will work with Wal-Mart’s senior management to develop and implement progressive enhancements to equal employment opportunity and diversity initiatives for the nation’s largest private workforce. 

The newly appointed members of the Advisory Panel are Dennis Archer and Vilma Martinez.  Archer is chairman and CEO of The Diversity Network and chairman of the law firm of Dickinson Wright PLLC in Detroit.  Previously, Archer was the mayor of Detroit, a Michigan Supreme Court Justice and the first African-American president of the American Bar Association.  Martinez, a partner at the Los Angeles law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, has an extensive history as a Latina civil rights activist and was president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund for nine years.  Martinez specializes in employment discrimination and commercial matters at the federal and state levels.

“Dennis and Vilma have devoted their lives to fighting for opportunity for diverse communities across this country,” said Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. CEO Lee Scott.  “They have worked to make our society a better place, and we are eager to benefit from their vast expertise to help Wal-Mart continue to build upon our already strong diversity commitment and initiatives.”

“Wal-Mart is an innovator and the creation of this special Panel will improve and expand upon the opportunities for Wal-Mart associates around the country,” said Archer.  “I am delighted to have the chance to work with the company on this important effort.”

“The employment relationship is central to the well-being of most of us and our families,” said Martinez.  “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to help our nation’s largest private employer meet its equal employment opportunity goals.”
Wal-Mart’s creation of the Advisory Panel comes on the heels of the company’s recent release of its 2005 Equal Employment Opportunity data showing that Wal-Mart’s workforce of more than 1.3 million United States associates consists of more than 150,000 Hispanics, 225,000 African-Americans and 815,000 women.  The mission of the Advisory Panel will complement the efforts of Wal-Mart’s Office of Diversity, established in 2003, which helps enhance the company’s employment practices, supplier relationships and community outreach programs.  Additionally, Wal-Mart has continued to improve upon its external diversity initiatives in other areas of the company.  Last year, for example, Wal-Mart’s legal department transferred roughly $60 million in business to minority and female relationship partners in Wal-Mart’s 100 highest-billing outside law firms.

“The formation of the Advisory Panel reflects our ongoing commitment to make sure all of our Associates are given every opportunity to thrive, advance and succeed at Wal-Mart,” said Susan Chambers, executive vice president of Wal-Mart’s People Division.  “The Panel will provide the company with a welcome set of additional eyes and perspectives.  I look forward to working with its distinguished members.”

Recognized leaders in diversity praised Wal-Mart for taking this action.

“I am pleased by this step taken by Wal-Mart,” says Dr. Benjamin Hooks, former executive director of the NAACP and chairman of the Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs Diversity Services Practice Group.  “Wal-Mart should be commended on its efforts to diversify its culture and workforce.  I encourage Wal-Mart to continue to be a leader in this area.” 

“I commend Wal-Mart for taking this important step of establishing an Employment Practices Advisory Panel and for selecting such highly distinguished leaders to participate in this effort,” stated Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino constituency-based group in the country.  “Dennis Archer and Vilma Martinez are two of the most well respected civil rights and employment opportunity experts in the nation.  They both have a lifetime of service and commitment to promoting social justice, equality and diversity.  With this Panel, Wal-Mart is moving in the right direction to achieve a broader positive impact for their workforce.”

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States.  The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala,Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT.  More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com.

More information about Wal-Mart’s diversity efforts can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com.

More information about Wal-Mart’s diversity efforts can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com.