Closing keynote speaker Sharon Orlopp, global chief
diversity officer and senior vice president, corporate people, for Walmart
Stores Inc., shared her experiences managing the industry’s largest retail
workforce. To cultivate a better
understanding and appreciation of many cultures and types of people, Walmart
and Sam’s Club leaders go on "diversity immersion trips.” The first was a visit
to Montgomery, Ala. and key locations in the civil rights movement. Leaders have
also taken Hispanic-immersion trips, a trip focused on women and one centered
on the disabled.
"If you touch the heart, you change
behaviors,” Orlopp said.
The retail diversity expert said "diversity” has to do with
metrics -- being invited to the dance and counting heads. "Inclusion,” though,
is what the metrics feel like -- getting out on the dance floor and making
To further gender diversity and inclusion, Walmart recruits women with
backgrounds in science, technology, information and management. "Whenever there’s a reorganization, there’s an
opportunity to grow and change your talent pool,” she noted.
To move from talking about D&I to cultivating it, Orlopp
advised cpg/retail leaders to evaluate their human resource practices, identify and remove the obstacles to D&I success,
measure results and hold people accountable. "Create
public champions,” she said. "Be bold!”