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NEW to induct Walmart CEO Duke into Diversity Hall of Fame

Friday, May 4, 2012  
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Michael T. Duke 

Michael T. Duke, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Inc., will be inducted into the Network of Executive Women CPG/Retail Diversity Hall of Fame, June 28, 2012 in Rogers, Ark.

The NEW CPG/Retail Diversity Hall of Fame, established in 2011, honors industry leaders who have demonstrated an enduring commitment to the advancement of women and to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. Duke will receive the William J. Grize Award, named after the late CEO of Ahold USA who was an early advocate of workforce diversity in the cpg/retail industry. The award was previously known as the NEW Outstanding Champion Award.

"Under Mike Duke’s leadership, the world’s largest retail company has promoted talented women to the highest levels,” said NEW President and CEO Joan Toth. "His commitment to gender diversity and inclusion has put a spotlight on the importance and value of developing women leaders and continues to strengthen Walmart’s position in the marketplace.”

"We know that companies with more women in leadership are also more successful,” Duke said. "Our core customers are women, and they are making the majority of the buying decisions for their homes. If we are to truly understand these customers and give them what they need, we should reflect the people we serve.”

Walmart has advanced women to a number of key positions during Duke’s tenure as president and CEO. In January 2012, Rosalind Brewer, the first chairperson of the Walmart President’s Council of Global Women Leaders, became the first woman and African American to lead one of Walmart’s three business units when she was promoted to chief executive of Sam’s Club. At the same time, Walmart promoted Gisel Ruiz to executive vice president and chief operating officer of its U.S. business and Karenann Terrell to chief information officer.

"Being involved in the Network’s leadership, I have the opportunity to see how a variety of companies lead diversity,” said NEW Board Chair Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president, home for Walmart U.S. "I can assure you, at Walmart it’s part of our culture and we believe we are the best at it in the industry around the globe.”

Last fall, Duke unveiled the Walmart Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, which uses the company’s size and scale to help empower women across its supply chain. Over five years, the company will source $20 billion from women-owned businesses in the United States and double sourcing from women suppliers internationally.

Duke has been a longtime supporter of NEW, describing it as a "national model and a true change agent.” Like NEW, Duke has pushed to give women a larger leadership role in the cpg/retail industry. He has focused on bringing in talented women and then ensuring they have mentors, role models and the development opportunities they need to help prepare them for more responsibility.

"Deloitte has been a proud sponsor of this award for the past 10 years and we are especially pleased to help honor Mike Duke,” said Alison Kenney Paul, past Board chair of the Network and vice chairman and U.S. retail leader, principal for Deloitte. "Walmart's support of the Network and diversity in retail has been truly transformative.”

Duke will receive the award at Women’s Day at the LPGA, an official event of the Walmart Northwest Arkansas LPGA golf championship. The breakfast event will be co-hosted by NEW Northwest Arkansas June 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the John Q. Hammonds Center in Rogers, Ark.  

The morning event will include breakfast, 
networking and a panel discussion, followed by the award presentation. Panelists will include Duke; Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart US; Elane Stock, president of Kimberly-Clark Professional; and past NEW Chair Alison Kenney Paul, vice chairman, U.S. retail and distribution leader, principal for Deloitte. The event is open to industry members who register online. Registration for the event is $25.

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