Wal-Mart’s respect for diversity translates into everyday action in Native American communities

Wal-Mart's respect for diversity translates into everyday action in Native American communities
Diversity is a way of life at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Their commitment to diversity is not just something they talk about, but is who they are. Because of their dedication to diversity, they can better serve their more than 127 million weekly customers and provide a positive work environment for their 1.3 million U.S. associates.

They know that attracting diverse customers, associates and suppliers is critical to their success. Their dedication to diversity extends from their board of directors to their associates; from their suppliers to their customers; and from their core beliefs to every aspect of their business.

They have long maintained diversity initiatives, including personnel practices and supplier programs to help build and retain a diverse workforce and supplier bast, along with varied community outreach programs. As part of these initiatives, Wal-Mart has made a tremendous effort to support Native Americans and the issues important to the community.

Wal-Mart's commitment to Native American communities starts within their home office and extends beyond their organization.

  • More than 33 percent of Wal-Mart's workforce is comprised of diverse individuals, including more than 15,000 Native American associates.
  • To better serve their diverse customer base, including Native Americans, Wal-Mart has adopted the "Store of the Community" concept, which uses locally relevant store designs and merchandise mixes specific to diverse communities. In fact, Wal-Mart operates more than 116 stores located on or near tribal lands.
  • In 2005, Wal-Mart's Diversity Relations Department founded the Associate Resource Groups program in its home office to create a sense of community among associates sharing similar backgrounds and interests. One of these groups, Tribal Voices, is for Native American associates.
  • Wal-Mart offers leadership seminars designed specifically for people from all walks of life to ensure they have a talented pool of diverse individuals, including Native Americans, who are well prepared for management positions. As a result of these efforts, more than half of Wal-Mart's managers and officials are females or of diverse backgrounds.
  • Additionally, Wal-Mart links officer compensation to diversity goals to attract, hire and retain qualified associates – bonuses are reduced by as much as 15 percent each year if goals are not met. In fiscal year 2007, 100 percent of their officers achieved their placement diversity goals to ensure there is equal representation of women and diverse individuals in the applicant pools for management positions. In addition, 99.67 percent of their officers achieved their good faith efforts diversity goals by participating in diversity events and mentoring at least three associates, including persons of diverse race, gender of background.
  • Through their supplier diversity initiatives, they have committed to increasing and promoting the sourcing of merchandise and services from diverse-owned businesses. Today, Wal-Mart partners with more than 3,500 women and diverse business suppliers. Their supplier development program has grown from $2 million initially spent with diverse and women-owned businesses to more than $4.2 billion in 2006.
  • In October 2007, Wal-mart donated $50,000 to the National Indian Education Association, the largest and oldest Indian education organization. The association is dedicated to increasing educational opportunities and resources for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students.
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