How Managers Can Shape A Culture Of Diversity And Inclusion

A recent internal survey of black managers at Walmart found that many would never recommend the employer to people of color.

Black workers comprise 21 percent of the workforce of 1.6 million employees at Walmart, which is the largest private employer in the U.S. Most black workers are employed at the lower levels of the organization.

Although 28 percent of new hires are black, only 13 percent of those promoted from "hourly" temp positions to management are black. Among Walmart's corporate officers, only 8.4 percent are black, a percentage that has not increased since 2014.

One of the Black directors surveyed said, "I have been here 10 years and I have never recommended Walmart to a person of color. I have recommended others to leave." Another said, "Pay, benefits, not bad – but recommend? NEVER. EVER."

The survey also found that black managers feel like they need to outperform others and take on more complex work without making mistakes just to keep their jobs. Black managers surveyed also said that the lack of diversity in leadership deters black employees from pursuing career development, and a lack of access to career opportunities slows their progress.

Bloomberg reported the internal Walmart survey. In a statement to Bloomberg, Walmart said that the survey represents "early research" and has an "unscientific and limited sample size." The company stated that "hiring, developing and retaining diverse talent is a top priority" and although they are proud of the progress they have made, they are always looking for ways to do more.

Walmart pledged $100 million to create a racial equity center following the death of George Floyd. Priya Elan "Recommend working at Walmart? Never, say Black managers in survey" theguardian.com (Jul. 10, 2021).

 

Commentary

Whether in a large national employer or in smaller sized organizations, the workplace culture and worker perceptions can be shaped by the attitudes and actions of management.

Managers can help make sure all members of their teams have equal access to training, overtime, greater responsibility, promotion, and other benefits. Encourage those who may be less vocal, but just as capable, by helping them find actual growth opportunities.

Encourage employees to bring any observations or complaints about any discrimination or lack of opportunities to your immediate attention and help those who feel they have experienced discrimination or harassment to report through your organization’s reporting mechanism.

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