Walmart's Black senior managers give retailer poor grades on career growth: report

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A group of Walmart’s Black senior managers were critical of the company during a recent internal survey assessing career advancement opportunities, according to a report published Thursday.

The survey asked 56 Black supervisors, senior managers and directors to identify obstacles to their career growth during their time working at Walmart, Bloomberg reported. A majority of the managers gave the company "mediocre" rankings.

Respondents reportedly identified several areas of concern, including lack of diversity among top executives, internal politics that had a disproportionately negative impact on Black employees and unequal access to promotions and learning opportunities.

The survey was conducted last year and presented to top Walmart executives as part of a broader effort to address inequality at the company following nationwide race-related protests last summer. 

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When asked how likely they were to recommend a career at Walmart to others, on a scale of -100 to 100, senior managers gave a score of -100. Directors and senior directors responded with a cumulative -86, while hourly supervisors gave a 72.

Walmart told Bloomberg the survey was based on an "unscientific and limited sample size" and was part of its early efforts to address inequality within its ranks.

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"Hiring, developing, and retaining diverse talent is a top priority for Walmart," a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement. "While we are proud of the progress we have made, we are always looking at our own systems and processes with a critical eye for ways we can do even more."

Walmart committed $100 million toward the establishment of a center for racial equity last June and pledged to help address racial injustice in response to the death of George Floyd. The company also committed to publishing diversity reports more frequently, among other measures.

Walmart has more than 1.5 million U.S.-based workers and is the country’s largest employer. Black employees comprise roughly 21% of its workforce.

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