Walmart CEO Mike Duke enters NEW Diversity Hall of Fame
Friday, June 29, 2012
than 500 Network of Executive Women members and industry supporters honored
Michael T. Duke, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Inc., as he was inducted
into the Network of Executive Women CPG/Retail Diversity Hall of Fame, June 28,
2012 in Rogers, Ark.
received the William J. Grize Diversity Hall of Fame Award, named after the
late Ahold USA CEO, an early advocate of industry diversity. Previously known
as the NEW Outstanding Champion Award, the NEW Diversity Hall of Fame Award
honors industry leaders who have demonstrated "an enduring commitment to the advancement
of women and to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.” He was recognized
during a breakfast event hosted by NEW Northwest Arkansas during Women’s Day at
the LPGA at the John Q. Hammonds Center. The event was sponsored by Kimberly-Clark.
is really for Walmart, for our associates and our customers,” Duke said while
accepting the award. "I'm honored in this job every day to serve our customers
Past Chair Alison Kenney Paul, vice chairman, US retail leader at
Deloitte, presented the award. "As president and CEO of Walmart, Mike
Duke leads an organization fully committed to both the women in our business
and to the Network of Executive Women and its mission,” Paul said.
NEW foundation sponsor, Walmart’s commitment to women in the Northwest Arkansas
area helped the Network establish one of its first regional outposts. "Mike is
a longtime supporter of NEW, describing it as a ‘national model and a true
change agent,’” Paul said.
Duke’s leadership, Walmart has advanced women to a number of key positions. 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.
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
event also featured a panel discussion with Duke; Paul; Ruiz; and Elane
Stock, president of Kimberly-Clark Professional, all of whom shared their
diversity-related life and career experiences.
discussion around diversity and inclusion is good for business, but is also the
right thing to do,” Duke said.
for a "best practice” for women in the cpg/retail industry, Stock advised NEW
members to "lock arms with other women and colleagues and make each other
successful. It will make all the difference in advancing ours and others
cautioned members against the pitfalls of unconscious bias, calling it "the
next frontier” in diversity and inclusion and suggested cpg/retail leaders
address unconscious bias "so that we don’t unfairly advantage or disadvantage
one group or another."
companies to "connect [employee resource groups] with those of other
executive Ruiz shared two tips that have helped her succeed: "Simplify your
life at work and home,” she said, "and leverage you strengths at work –
don't try to be someone else at work – be your whole self. Women are naturally
good listeners and nurturing; leverage that strength and challenge
yourself to how you can best use it in your organization and life.”
women executives also shared personal stories of feeling excluded or
differentiated because of their gender. Their passion for diversity and
inclusion, they said, was sparked while purchasing a car, working as a
store manager and dealing with customers, and working as a sales person
in a traditionally male industry.
you experience this adversity and feel the passion ignite, ask yourself what
you are going to do with it,” Ruiz advised. "Inclusion is not just about color
or gender; it’s understanding and appreciating different lifestyles, shopping
patterns and needs.”
all face moments of adversity,” Duke noted. "It's what you do coming out of
them that matters. Rigid and stern used to be a strength. The new management
competency is agility – being open and flexible with the way we serve our
customers and our associates.”
immediate past Chair Alison Kenney Paul (left) and NEW Chair Michelle
(right) present Walmart president and CEO Michael T. Duke with
the William J.
Grize Diversity Hall of Fame Award, June 28 in Rogers, Ark.
Amber Kramer, NEW Northwest Arkansas co-chair of logistics, greets panelist
Ruiz, executive vice president and COO of Walmart US.
President and CEO Mike Duke meets with NEW Northwest Arkansas
Panelists Elane Stock, president of Kimberly-Clark Professional; NEW immediate
past Chair Alison Kenney Paul ofDeloitte; and Gisel Ruiz. executive vice president
and COO of Walmart US, join honoree Mike Duke during a panel discussion on gender diversity in the cpg/retail industry.
President and CEO Mike Duke (center) networks with NEW Northwest Arkansas committee members and officers.