Wal-Mart Encourages Women's Empowerment

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here said Wednesday it plans to help 200,000 women from low-income households gain job skills and access higher education as part of its newly announced Global Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores [2] here said Wednesday it plans to help 200,000 women from low-income households gain job skills and access higher education as part of its newly announced Global Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative.

The company said it plans to help another 200,000 women outside the U.S. achieve job training and education.

Other goals of its five-year plan to empower women include increasing sourcing from women-owned businesses to $20 billion; helping women on farms and in factories overseas develop skills to become more active decision-makers in their jobs and homes; encouraging its suppliers and service firms to increase women and minority representation on Wal-Mart accounts; and donating more than $100 million in grants to support women's economic empowerment.

According to Mike Duke, president and chief executive officer, "Helping more women live better is a defining issue for our business and our world. We want women to view us as a retailer that is relevant to them and cares about them. We want them to be leading suppliers, managers and loyal customers."