To: All U.S. based associates
From: Donna Morris, Chief People Officer
Ben Hasan, SVP and Global Chief Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
Today we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his commitment to service. It’s a principle that in many ways embodies your work as Walmart associates supporting communities over these past two years of challenging times. Serving customers and members around the world is enabling them to live better. To associates worldwide, we thank you.
There’s a path for everyone here
Dr. King also dreamed of equality and opportunity, which continues to resonate today. Our goal is to make Walmart the best place for everyone, and that begins with creating a path and providing opportunity for all. Equity in the workplace fosters collective growth, innovation and progress toward common goals while enabling each one of us to achieve our individual aspirations. More importantly, equity is rooted in our shared humanity, which connects us and comes to life through our value of Respect for the Individual. Dr. King expressed it best: “We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.”
As we start the new year, we’d like to share some of the ways we’re bringing our vision of workplace inclusion and equity to life so that we all feel a sense of belongingness.
Our Live Better U (LBU) education program is creating a path of opportunity for career growth at Walmart. Walmart pays 100% of college tuition and books, through our LBU program, and the educational offerings tie directly to our growth areas at Walmart. Approximately 1.5 million part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in the U.S. can earn college degrees or learn trade skills without the burden of education debt, starting on their first day of employment. Equity is essential to the program, which includes three participating Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). According to a recent study, approximately 18% of Walmart’s Live Better U participants are Black, and Black associates who participated were 88% more likely to receive promotions than non-participants.
Our Walmart Academies also offer front-line associates a path to growth. We have dedicated facilities nationwide, including locations in underserved communities, all of which provide advanced retail skills instruction. In many respects, we are the nation’s largest training academy for professional development, and we are proud of our legacy of promoting from within and our focus on internal mobility. More than 75% of Walmart U.S. store operations management team members started as hourly associates. We grow incredible leaders and know that while some choose to pursue other opportunities, we have contributed to their development and the overall growth of the global workforce.
Our commitment to creating a workplace of belonging
We embrace inclusive recruitment practices and diverse hiring slates to enable access to growth opportunities and ensure our promotional, pay and hiring processes are fair and equitable. Representation matters, and according to our latest Culture, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CDE&I) Mid-Year Report, women comprised over 33% of our U.S. officer population while people of color accounted for over 25% of U.S. officers. More than 55% of new hires were people of color, and LatinX, Asian and Native American representation in the total U.S. workforce rose as well.
We’re also seeing other encouraging signs of progress. In Q2 and Q3 we promoted more people of color officers than those who exited, and the same trend was true for Black and African American officers. While we still have work to do, we know that our CDE&I Annual Report and Mid-Year Report along with our Environmental, Social and Governance Report will continue to drive transparency and accountability.
Equity in the workplace also extends to well-being, which enables us all to thrive and enjoy healthy lives. Benefits like virtual doctor visits through Doctor on Demand, counseling services at no cost through Resources for Living and many other programs can help support your physical, financial and emotional well-being.
Walmart is also working to address inequitable systems and structural racism in society though our associate-led Shared Value Networks and the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity. We encourage you to get involved and learn more, and for some this could mean becoming an ally through our nine Associate Resource Groups. Diversity and inclusion at Walmart extends well beyond ethnicity and gender to the intersectionality of LGBTQ+, veterans, faith-based and people impacted by disabilities communities. We are grateful to the many associates driving this important work along with the leadership of the Officer Caucuses and the President’s Inclusion Council for their passion and dedication to make Walmart a place of inclusion and belonging from the inside out.
These are just a handful of examples of Walmart’s actions to continue to build a workplace where everyone is included and feels a sense of belongingness. Creating opportunity is at the heart of advancing equity and the humanity that connects us, and it will make Walmart the best place for opportunity.
So, thank you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; you stood up for inclusion and humanity in the face of great odds and resistance. At Walmart, we stand with you.