Inclusion and Technology fueling Future of Retail-Walmart
Thursday December 23, 2021, By Diversity Digest
At Walmart we know that a diverse workforce is key to our business. We foster an inclusive culture where everyone is—and feels—included. We believe we are best equipped to help our associates, customers and the communities better when we really know them. That means understanding, respecting and valuing diversity – unique styles, experiences, identities, ideas and opinions – while being inclusive of all people.Sam Walton’s philosophy was “If you take care of your people, your people will take care of the customer, and the business will take care of itself.”
To establish our Inclusion & Diversity charter, we celebrated ‘Inclusion Week’at the beginning of the year. We used a range of expressions – fun theatre workshops, high tea conversations, panel discussions, external speakers, experience zones, movie screenings, musical interludes and on-the-floor games to connect our associates in this journey.
The rich and varied cultural diversity in India has also empowered us to go beyond traditional view on diversity, dive deeper and understand the various intersectionality around us. To broaden the scope of Inclusion, our three core charters – Pride, W-care and Women Resource Council focus on aiding the LGBTQ+ community, specially abled associates and women associates respectively.
Our ARGs (Associate Resource Groups) are anchored on these themes and led by a member of the India Leadership team. Each of these have a comprehensive charter encompassing equal opportunities, enablement, support, development and freedom of personal expression. It has helped build awareness, create safe spaces for conversations, upgrade our infrastructure and policies, drive deep sensitization and even push the envelope on hiring transgender candidates.
As our Talent, Learning and OD team puts it – “For a continuous learning organization like ours, inclusion is embedded in everything we do – including the way people learn”. We greatly embody the Walmart message ‘This is that place’, in our inclusion journey.
We believe that each of our associate has a unique ‘Spark’ and by nurturing them collectively, we shine brighter. For Walmart Labs India, this year has been about celebrating the ‘Spark of Inclusion’through various forms, with just a few examples given below;
– Bringing on board the third cohort of our flagship program – Back2Work – we enable women on a career break to return to the workforce in a gradual way. The initiative just became bigger and better by expanding our internships to tech and non-tech roles.
– Celebrating Cultural Diversity by hosting panel discussions and creating a video montage of our associates singing the evergreen “Mile Sur…” in their own unique way, and having fun in the bargain!
– Sensitizing over 200 support staff, including housekeeping & security, on the entire LGBTQ agenda and creating a comfortable workplace culture.
– Creating an experience sharing zone with members of the transgender community, thus enabling new perspectives to our associates.
Such programs and initiatives, coupled with leadership sponsorship and involvement, will help us truly grow and evolve as an organization. Our approach is directly aligned to our Values – Respect for the Individual– where embracing diversity of thought and driving innovation through thought leadership, is something we encourage.
Our objective is to ensure that all our associates and partners experience the promise that Doug McMillon, our CEO & President, expressed in this statement –
“Walmart has helped me become a better person and I hope that being part of the team does the same for each of our associates. By being more inclusive, we will find ourselves being more productive and having more joy at work. This is an exciting time to be at Walmart. If we continue to work together and live our values, we have a bright future ahead of us.”
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