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Shame on You Wal-Mart

It should come as no surprise to anyone that women are the reason businesses like Wal-Mart are managing to thrive in spite of a weak economy. Women are always shopping for great deals and Wal-Mart has gone out of its way to convince us it is the place to: "Save money. Live better."

But the question here is are the women who work at Wal-Mart really living better? Maybe not---according to an article in BusinessWeek---which states that women account for nearly 80 percent of all shoppers but more than 70 percent of its senior leaders are men.

To add insult to injury, in 2001, six female Wal-Mart employees filed a sex-discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against Wal-Mart Stores. The suit, Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., gained class certification in 2004 as the largest such suit ever filed against a private employer, affecting more than 2million female employees. In the suit, female employees alleged that they were denied opportunities for advancement and paid less than men doing similar work.

This is an image the Company's new CEO is hoping to change. At a shareholder's meeting today, Mike Duke pledged to work on developing female leaders by launching a "global women's council." This 14-member group aims to increase the percentage of women in management roles at Wal-Mart.

Sadly, Wal-Mart isn't the only Company who has a poor track record when it comes to hiring top female executives. But until women start speaking more with their pocketbooks, behaviors like this will continue no matter how many "global councils" are put together.


Debbie said…
Oh I know this story too well, and it isn't confined to USA, it's rife in many stores that I know of here!

In fact, having a very close friend working in this field, has opened my eyes to MANY issues relating to the male managerial world!! You'd be shocked at hearing how some of these so-called professionals carry on with some women in the same role.

Glad to hear steps are being taken to alleviate some of these issues, only hope they're taken seriously!
Susan Adcox said…
I seldom shop at WalMart. When Sam Walton started the business, he emphasized American-made products. Today almost everything in the store is foreign-made. I also hate the way that WalMart has impacted small family businesses. After reading this information about sex discrimination at WalMart, I'm sure I'll be visiting even less often.
rosie said…
Bev maybe we could start a watch list or rating for companies doing the right thing for women these days. Ummm
Karlyn said…
Beverly, I did not know this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I hope we see a change in these statistics at some point.
Anonymous said…
I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. Seems that most of their merchandise is from China or Mexico. I rather spend my hard earned money elsewhere.

As far as the topic of this blog post, seems that Wal-Mart is similar to other big corporations. Hopefully we'll see the numbers change and more women in higher management position within Wal-Mart.
Pam Archer said…
I got put out with Wal-Mart when they quit selling ONLY U.S. made products. Since Sam Walton died, Wal-Mart hasn't been run with the same convictions he held.
Eileen Williams said…
As always, Beverly, you come up with items that make me think. This post is no exception. Women have been underpaid throughout modern history. Right now, in the U.S., women earn around 77 cents for every dollar a man makes for doing the same job. It's pretty pathetic and we need to find a united voice and stand up for change. Maybe that change should start with Wal-Mart!
Pat Montgomery said…
I don't shop at Wal Mart for many reasons, this being one. It is very rare for me to darken their door.

Sam Walton, I am sure, is turning over in his grave at what his kids have done to his dream.

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