Jean Batthany

Walmart’s brand purpose is clear.

Help people save money and live better.

A better life for any, starts with opportunity for all.

Because of our size and scale, we have an opportunity and responsibility to create real systemic change – both inside and outside of Walmart – to create an environment where everyone can be seen, heard and welcomed to help the country advance toward a more fair and equitable society.  In June 2020, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $100 million over five years to create a new Center for Racial Equity, where we will use the power of Walmart to invest resources and develop strategies to increase fairness, equity, and justice. The new center is supporting philanthropic initiatives around four key areas: Finance, Healthcare, Education, Criminal Justice System. In February, we announced the distribution of the first $14.3 million of that commitment in grants to 16 different nonprofit organizations.

Inside of Walmart, as the world’s largest private employer with 1.6 million associates in the U.S .alone, we’ve committed to even more transparency, openly reporting twice a year on our progress to build diversity across our business with respect to gender and ethnicity. Focusing on hiring, developing and rewarding—and holding leaders accountable in our efforts to make progress.

In the marketing organization, we are transforming our approach to ensure that the broad and diverse customers we serve can see themselves reflected in the content we create to promote our brand and business.

We’ve created a D&I Review Board, a council of 100+ associates to ensure D&I is at the forefront of our creative content. This newly formed team leverages the identities, experiences, abilities and perspectives of a diverse group of Walmart associates to review every aspect of creative in service of authenticity, inclusivity, relevancy and credibility.

To ensure we’re telling more inclusive stories, we’re also focusing on diverse talent behind the camera. Making the commitment that 40 percent of all production directors, photographers and crew will be women or under-represented minorities. Working with our agency partners to ensure their teams are reflective of the profoundly diverse market we serve to have different perspectives and better representation in our work.

We know women drive 70–80 percent of all consumer purchasing decisions, through a combination of their buying power and influence. They want to see themselves and their daughters represented in a positive way and they spend their dollars where they feel seen.

We’re proud to partner with SeeHer and the ANA, learning from their Master Classes and GEM®: Gender Equality Measure® testing. In the words of co-founder Shelley Zalis, “You can’t treasure what you can’t measure.” And the data and measurement show us that Ads with positive GEM® scores drive brand reputation and purchase intent. Collaborating with SeeHer helps us uncover not only levels of unconscious bias in our existing creative and creative process, but when joined with GEM® Lift, the positive portrayal of women and girls in our advertising and media can have very positive business results.

Now more than ever, it is business critical that Walmart shows up authentically for the consumer, particularly for women, to help them live better. While everyone is facing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic, women are bearing the brunt of the economic and social fallout of COVID-19, losing income and unpaid care, and their domestic work burden has exploded. Women are more vulnerable to COVID-19–related economic effects because of existing gender inequalities, particularly Black and Hispanic women.

With the pandemic disrupting almost every aspect of our lives, including job and school closures, many in our communities are turning to food banks for support in this time of uncertainty. For the past 8 years, Walmart has partnered with Feeding America to help people in need. Together we’ve helped secure over a billion meals for people facing hunger. This year alone, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated $8 million to help provide nourishing meals. We launched the latest Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign last week:

When we feed hunger, we’re feeding more than stomachs, we’re feeding dreams. And opportunities.