Friday, March 24, 2023

Walmart Employees with Disabilities and Latinx Workers Takes Center Stage

Walmart Employees with Disabilities and Latinx Workers Takes Center Stage

News Brief:

  • Latinx workers and employees with disabilities took center stage in Walmart’s mid-year report on Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, released Sept. 24. Highlights included Walmart’s five-year, USD $20 million commitment to food security and economic advancement for Black and Indigenous Canadians.
  • Notably, in a breakdown of hourly-to-management promotions, 44.61% were women, 38.8% were people of color and 17.38% were Latinx. (Notably, representation of women in hourly and management positions dropped from last year.) Overall, Asian and Latinx representation increased across Walmart’s workplace.
  • Walmart also launched its Accessibility Center of Excellence to nurture its employees with disabilities.

Judging the numbers alone, it appears the company’s commitment to racially diverse hiring is clear. People of color represented 55.47% of U.S. new hires, Walmart’s 2021 CDEI document reports. It’s one of the benchmarks of which Ben Hasan, SVP and Walmart’s global chief culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion officer, said he is most proud. Hasan told HR Dive via email, “As I reflect on the findings of this report, what I’m most proud of is our unwavering dedication to representation at every level.”

He also highlighted report findings on age representation: 38.32 is the average age of a Walmart employee in the U.S. The largest percentage of associates fit into the 20-to-24-year-old cohort, “suggesting Walmart is a place for those starting their careers,” the report said.

This year, Walmart has made a few key moves to show up for employees with disabilities. In May 2021, Walmart launched its Accessibility Center of Excellence. A driving factor was the need for supporting people with non-apparent disabilities. “It can often be overlooked just how universal disability is to the human experience,” Hasan said. “That’s why we’re continuously evaluating new ways to grow our support for this community.”

Along with reducing turnover and equipping “every associate to be an inclusive leader,” accessibility is a key focus in Walmart’s CDEI strategy. The company is seeking to “identify gaps in equity and accessibility across the spectrum of stakeholder touchpoints, particularly for associates and customers,” and to “deploy strategies to address those gaps,” the report read.

A noteworthy tidbit: Walmart also is specifically working on disability representation in its African market. Massmart, which operates in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and South Africa (among other sub-Saharan countries), announced its goal of 1.5% disability workforce representation in May 2021. Also noted in the report were Massmart’s rollout of sensitization training, its celebration of Disability Declaration Week in June, and its launch of a 12-month disability internship program.