Doug McMillan, CEO of Walmart.
Adam Jeffery | Cnbc
In the wake of George Floyd’s opposition, Walmart promised to promote diversity within its own ranks and contribute $ 100 million over five years to help fight systemic racism across the country.
On Monday, the company gave an update on that effort. Walmart and its foundation will distribute the first $ 14.3 million to 16 non-profit organizations. The grant will go to groups that are dealing with racial disparities in a variety of ways, such as educating communities of color about Kovid-19 vaccines, reducing debt for students at historically black colleges and universities and going to school Internet access and technology to children with disabilities. From far away.
Walmart is one of several companies that promised to throw their money and weight behind addressing racial disparities after Floyd’s assassination. Yet as the nation’s largest employer and retailer, its functions have additional significance. Company CEO Doug McMillan also led the Business Roundtable, a powerful corporate voice that ranks among the nation’s foremost CEOs.
When the company made its initial pledge in June, McMillan acknowledged that corporations – including Walmart – should do more than simply write checks. He said the company would also do better within its four walls and would recruit and support diverse talent.
According to the company’s most recent diversity and inclusion report, Black employees make up about 21% of Walmart’s 1.5 million American employees. However, that diversity has faded into Walmart’s top ranks. About 12% of the company’s managers and 7% of its executives are Black.
Walmart led longtime employee Kirsty Sims to lead the company’s Center for Racial Equity, which will focus on disparities in four key areas: finance, health care, education and criminal justice.
Kirsty Sims, senior director of Walmart.org Center for Wrestle Equity
Sims, an Arkansas native, began working as a way to pay off big-box retailer student loans and plans to switch to the health care industry. However, Walmart said she found she could make a 20-year career and advance to leadership positions – something she hopes to make possible for other employees, including other black women. Prior to her new role, she was senior director of global ethics and compliance at Walmart.
Walmart has made other changes in recent months to advance racial equity. It will share reports of diversity and inclusion twice a year instead of annually. It will work with North Carolina A&T State University, the nation’s largest historical black university, to increase the number of Black college graduates entering high-demand areas. It offered two new Walmart health locations in Chicago in November, offering low-cost medical appointments. It also joined the One Ten coalition, with a group of American companies promising to train, recruit and promote one million Black Americans over the next decade.
Sims said Walmart is looking at how his business behavior can also change. For example, it could expand access to affordable medical care in needy communities by opening Walmart health locations, expanding black-owned businesses by using them more as suppliers and job applicants in the criminal justice system After joining can give a second chance to enter the society again.
“Progress is sometimes slow, but with the work and power and commitment behind it, we are going to make changes,” she said.