Walmart Highlights Economic Mobility for Women

Walmart Highlights Economic Mobility for Women

By the end of FY16, the Walmart Foundation and Walmart’s global business invested in programs that provided support and training for more than 762,000 women around the world.

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The Walmart Foundation and Walmart’s global business have invested in multiple programs that provide support and training for more than 762,000 women around the world.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 8:00am

CAMPAIGN: Walmart | Global Responsibility Report 2016

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary

As featured in the Walmart Global Responsibility Report 2016

Helping Women In the U.S. We have also been working to help U.S. women from low income households improve their employment skills. The Walmart Foundation provided support and training for more than 200,000 since the launch of our Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative. Some of this work has been accomplished through programs aimed at the retail sector, such as our funding of the Chicago Cook County Workforce Partnerships. This work to enhance economic mobility in retail is particularly important to women, since over 50 percent of retail workers in the U.S. are women.

Gender Equality In Supply Chain In our women’s economic empowerment initiative, some of our grantees initially found it challenging to convince factory managers to allow their female workers to take time out to be trained. Including male workers as well as demonstrating the business benefit of better trained workers helped convince many to allow the training. 

Sourcing From Women-Owned Businesses Women-owned businesses (WOBs) offer a tremendous opportunity to empower women economically and to fuel economic growth. They employ nearly 9 million people in the United States alone. WOBs also represent one of the country’s fastest-growing business segments, with 45 percent growth between 2007 and 2016 compared with just 9 percent growth in all businesses. WOBs are increasing five times faster than the national average. The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Report survey estimated that there are more than 200 million women starting or running a new enterprise, and 128 million managing established businesses, in 83 representative economies. The study also found that women in nearly half of these countries are equal to, or outpacing, male entrepreneurs in terms of innovating and offering the market a new product or service not offered by their competition. Despite these facts, WOBs represent a tiny percentage – less than 5 percent – of the supply base across consumer goods categories, and many WOBs face challenges accessing affordable capital or other means to scale their businesses. In 2011, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation launched the Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, which includes sourcing $20 billion of products and services from WOBs in the U.S. over five years, as well as seeking to double sourcing from WOBs in Walmart’s other markets around the world. We are combining this use of our purchase order with customer marketing, which promotes WOBs in stores and online, and through philanthropic initiatives, which support mentoring and access to lower-cost capital. We’re also collaborating with other organizations that advocate for the needs of WOBs. This approach offers important advantages to our business and to society at large. Walmart’s women-owned suppliers in the U.S. are growing faster than our average sales and generating higher margins, compared with the rest of business without WOBs. More broadly, when investments are made in WOBs, it not only drives economic growth, it improves the livelihood of women, their employees and families. 

Read more about Walmart's mission to empower women in the Global Responsibility Report 2016