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BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Not all the media exposure Wal-Mart's been getting regarding its employment practices has been negative. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has been named one of "The 30 Best Companies for Diversity" by Black Enterprise magazine. It was the only retailer to make the list, which is being featured in Black Enterprise's July issue.
The companies that made the list outperformed other corporations in their peer group in four key areas: percentage of total procurement dollars spent with companies owned by African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups; the percentage of African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups represented on their corporate boards; the percentage of senior management positions held by African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups; and the percentage of African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups represented in the total workforce.
"We are honored by recognition from such a well respected publication as Black Enterprise," said Charlyn Jarrells Porter, s.v.p. and chief diversity officer for Wal-Mart Stores. "We will continue to strive for excellence in all aspects of diversity and employment practices."
Wal-Mart was recently ranked among the top 50 companies for diversity in the U.S. for 2005 by DiversityInc Magazine, and was named one of the top corporations for multicultural business opportunities in 2004 by DiversityBusiness.com.
This year, Wal-Mart was also listed on the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility's (HACR) Corporate Index as one of the top 10 companies for Hispanics. Asian Enterprise magazine also included Wal-Mart in its listing of the top 10 companies for Asian Americans.
Black Enterprise said in a statement that its editors evaluated diversity programs, consulted with diversity experts and corporate diversity officers, and conducted an extensive survey of 1,000 of America's largest publicly traded companies and 50 leading global companies with significant U.S. operations to come up with the list.
The magazine also noted, "In facing the challenging task of implementing and managing a diverse workforce, various companies represented on the BE Top 30 list have faced discrimination lawsuits in the past two years. In fact, one of the ironies of corporate diversity is that the fewer minority employees a company has, the less likely it is to face a workplace discrimination suit. While the business of diversity may sometimes be difficult, it is important to laud those who are aggressively pursuing initiatives toward changing corporate America's status quo."
Wal-Mart is currently facing the largest-ever U.S. class action on charges that it discriminates against women in pay and promotions.
Read more about the future of corporate diversity and what it means for business, in Progressive Grocer's June 1 cover story, "Diversified Investment": http://www.progressivegrocer.com/progressivegrocer/magazine/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000939201.