Wal-Mart Creates Office of Diversity
By George Anderson
Wal-Mart announced yesterday it opened a new office of diversity to address hiring practices and career path issues for people of color, women and minority groups, according to a Reuters report.
The recent arrests of illegal immigrants hired by outside contractors to clean its stores plus a lawsuit filed by former female employees against the company for sexual discrimination has put increased pressure on the retailer.
Charlyn Jarrells Porter, senior vice president, people division of Wal-Mart Stores has been named to oversee the office of diversity with direct reporting responsibility to Tom Coughlin, chairman of Wal-Mart.
The retailer has also named Esther Silver-Parker to the post of vice president of diversity relations beginning on Dec. 1. Ms. Silver Parker comes to Wal-Mart from her post as vice president of corporate affairs for AT&T.
Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Wal-Mart’s creation of an office of diversity?
Wal-Mart can’t win, in the short-term at least, on this one.
If it didn’t create the office to address diversity issues within the company, then it would have taken hits for not actively dealing with the issue.
Now that it opened the office of diversity there will be those who cynically observe it as little more than a public relations stunt to blunt criticism.
Anderson – Moderator]