Walmart has released its 2016 Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Report that shows the retailer has made strides in hiring and elevating women and people of color.
However, like many companies in the industry, the numbers also make clear Walmart still has room for improvement when it comes to fully diversifying management and the C-suite.
While 56% of the retailer’s U.S. associates are women, only 43% of U.S. managers and 31% of officers are women.
Similarly, 42% of U.S. associates are people of color but just 31% of U.S. managers and 22% of officers are.
And although the percentage of women and people of color in U.S. manager roles are both up 1% from last year, in 2015 women made up 32% of corporate officers and in 2014 45% of U.S. managers were women.
The percentage of officers who are people of color stayed the same from 2015 to 2016, but dropped from 23% in 2014.
“We want our associates to grow and seize the opportunity to take on more responsibility. A diverse leadership team, as well as a diverse board, is a priority for us, and the best place to find strong leaders for our management team is from within the company,” Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, said in the report.
Walmart has implemented programs to increase diversity, the report notes. The retailer recently created a President’s Inclusion Council, a 10-member group chaired by McMillon and advised by Ben Hasan, SVP and chief culture, diversity & inclusion officer, to “advise, collaborate and inspire on the issues and enterprise efforts in building an inclusive work environment.”
“We are fully committed to having a workplace that is inclusive of all people,” McMillon said of the council.
Since 2009, Walmart has had a President’s Global Council of Women Leaders, which focuses on the development, retention and advancement of women throughout the company. The council now has 14 members from across Walmart’s global business.
In addition, Walmart’s mentoring program Develop 2 Lead includes many women and people of color: 30% of mentors are people of color and 43% are women, and 37% of mentees are people of color and 56% are women.