Walmart says it has worked harder in recent years to increase diversity at its highest ranks. The company’s president and CEO Doug McMillon took on the issue of racial inequality during one of Walmart’s virtual employee meetings in the wake of George Floyd’s murder more than a year ago.
“The murder of George Floyd is tragic, painful, and unacceptable,” McMillon told Walmart’s global employee population in June 2020. “Words and feelings matter, but they are not enough. More action is required. We will find new ways to accelerate the desired changes inside our company and we will also find the ways that our business can influence real change in our country.”
Around 9% of Walmart’s corporate officers are African American, the company’s latest demographic data confirms, but Walmart says that’s about a 2.3% increase from this time last year.
“While we are encouraged by the growth of our Black and African-American representation across our leadership team, we recognize that we are on a journey and have more work to do,” Walmart spokesperson Jami Lamontagne told CNN Business on Saturday.
Latinos make up nearly 18% of Walmart’s employee population, but just 5.5% of the company’s officers, according to the report. Asian people, who represent more than 4% of the retailer’s employees, comprise more than 10% of its managers and 9% of its officers. In August, Anshu Bhardwaj was promoted to senior vice president of technology strategy & commercialization on Walmart’s global tech team.
White people make up more than 53% of Walmart’s workforce, and they represent more than 63% of its managers and 74% of its officers.
The DEI report also says people of color make up more than 46% of Walmart’s workforce, but the company’s website shows Black and Brown Americans comprise only about 16.7% of Walmart’s 12-member board of directors.
Retired AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stevenson, who is White, joined Walmart’s board of directors in March. He’s the only director on Walmart’s board appointed since the police murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, which motivated Walmart’s leaders to create a $100 million center on racial equity program less than two weeks later.
AT&T is the parent company of WarnerMedia, which owns CNN.
In its most recent DEI report, Walmart pointed out marginal gains women have made at the officer level, as well as the May launch of its Accessibility Center of Excellence, which is designed to advance equity and inclusion for people with disabilities.
Walmart also was one of 24 companies that commissioned global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. to research challenges Black Americans face in the private sector.
“It further reinforces the importance of addressing these complex systemic issues through our internal people processes,” Walmart executive vice president and chief people officer Donna Morris said in the report.
“Although we have made progress, we still have more work to do,” the company told CNN Business Friday via email.