2015 Global Women’s Forum – Part 2 Walmart CEO Doug McMillon speaks

2015 Global Women’s Forum – Part 2 Walmart CEO Doug McMillon speaks


As many of you recall a few weeks ago
during our International Women’s Day celebration we
talked about all the benefits that come with a truly
diverse and inclusive workforce. Well, today I am honored to introduce someone who
knows just how strong Walmart can be when we allow
diversity two flourish all over the world. He’s been with our
company for over 20 years, is still a forward-thinking merchant who embraces change and I will ask you to help me in providing
a warm welcome to our champion and CEO Doug McMillon. Good morning! Excited to be with you all, and excited to
see everybody around the world. I saw that Mexican auditorium pop up on
the screen and I thought “I’ll be there tomorrow,” and I’m actually headed there in the morning and
headed over to China next week, so I’m looking forward to seeing all of you. Michelle, way to go. You told me this was going to be a big
deal and sure is shaping up to be that. You, Karenann,
Mary Beth, Jane, the entire council I know you guys have put a lot of effort
into planning this thing. Way to go. I also want to thank some of our board members
that are here. Aida, would you please stand. She’ll be up in
just a second, but Linda Wolfe and Steve Reineman are also here. It’s great to have you guys here with us this
morning. If you think about what’s happening around the world, it’s really clear that
there is a meaningful and real debate going on about fairness
and about opportunity, and you can see it in current events. You can
see it here in the US issues related to law enforcement or
issues that happened in Indiana or Arkansas a few weeks ago. You can see around the world in Brazil,
South Africa, where youth unemployment’s at a really
high rate. In the UK as well, Andy. There’s just a lot of stress and pressure
related to these issues of fairness and of opportunity. And as it relates to fairness, everybody
wants a shot. You know, they want a handshake and a fair
opportunity to make the situation better for their families
or for themselves. And, as it relates to opportunity, people want to know that there’s a
chance for them, for their children, and for others to be
better off than they were in their generation. So, we’re living in times where fairness
and opportunity continue to be significant issues, and at Walmart we
happen to work in a company that reaches now to 27 countries 2.2 million people that work for the
company, but obviously even much larger numbers as it relates to customers and
those that we come into contact with in communities that we operate in around
the world. We’ve been given this situation where there’s this huge
platform, there is scale for the company that can be
used in a positive way. And lately, over these last few months,
we’ve started to have this mental image that’s coming to
life that looks like a ladder, and a ladder has rungs and you can
climb it. And I think one of the responsibilities
that we have as a leadership team is to make sure that the ladder of
opportunity that exists within Walmart and every country around the world, and in
every part of our business is real and solid. So things like starting wage come up. Where
is the first rung on the ladder set, and how high should it be? And how do we get that first rung high
enough that people can have the opportunity to get started in life,
but not have it so high that very few people can actually reach it.
But once that ladder’s in place, how do you bring along a foundation underneath it
that includes a strong health care offering and benefits. An opportunity to learn and develop
yourself so that you can be promoted and start to climb up that ladder. Well, a couple of the
ingredients that are necessary to create that situation are diversity and
inclusion. We have to have an environment where
everyone, everyone has a chance to get a hold of
that ladder and start to climb it; to really create a meritocracy where
people can fulfill their potential as individuals
and collectively as teams. So you work for a company that has the
opportunity to to create that situation and to really
make a difference around the world, and to help be part of the
solution that is coming from this active debate
around fairness and opportunity. And that’s why we’re here today and
that’s why we have events like this, because we want everyone to know
regardless of your gender or where you came from or what your
disabilities might be; whether you’re an American Indian or you come from another country where there are
issues in your country, we want all of you to know that we need the very best
talent from around the world to rise to the top and helped lead this
company into the future and make a difference in the world. That’s been our objective from the
beginning and as time goes on we just keep
changing to try and maximize our potential. Sam Walton cared about this issue. You can
go back and read in old Walmart World articles about how he
felt about opportunities for women. Mike Duke cared about this issue. In fact, one of our female leaders a few
weeks ago knew this event was coming up and she came to me and said I want to
give you an email that Mike sent me years ago, and I don’t really wanna share it, but I
wonder if you might wanna share with some people. And so I wanna put up some some words from Mike. This is from Mike to
one of our female officers you can read it yourself, but he’s saying you must be so proud of your son. You are great parents. This is a great time
to celebrate. You were a great example and a pioneer
years ago when you went to a flex-time schedule to
support your family. I still admire how you handled your life priorities. So this is a person who, at one stage in
her life, needed to step into a flex situation
to take care of some boys. That played through, and then she came
back full-time then went on to be promoted and take on greater levels of
responsibility. So you can see from that private email
that I did not ask Mike if I could share, so don’t tell him, how he felt about it. And that’s how I feel about it. We’ve got to work
together to create a situation where you can be your whole self at work and
fulfill your your potential. And we don’t like averages and I’m hesitant to even kinda put it up,
but but sometimes we also are humble enough that we don’t talk
about the fact that we are leading, and we’re pretty self-critical. Let’s take
just a moment here and celebrate that the work that’s been done in the past
has created a situation where we are obviously leading in some ways, and
that’s a good thing. And the fact that 55 percent of our US
hourly promotions last year went to women speaks to the fact that that we’re
backing this up with action, not just words. Internally, we want to create a situation
where we have the best thoughts coming together with a
diverse and inclusive team, and clearly women are a very important part
of that. We’re also trying to use the size and
scale of the company to make a difference outside of our own associate base. We’re on track
to train a million women. We’re on track to source $20 billion from
women-owned businesses in the US and double our international efforts as it relates
to sourcing from women. We want to use the size and scale of the company to do
good beyond just our associates and reach other stakeholders. And today, if you go to the next slide,
we’re focused on kinda three ideas. The first one is mentoring and
sometimes we talk about being a champion versus being a mentor. I would tell you
they’re both important. They’re important to everyone regardless of your gender, and I think one of the great sessions you’re going to enjoy today
relates to confidence. Sometimes men can have a tendency to step out on an issue, where, as you read the book to related to the Confidence
Code today you may find that women may want to step back a little bit, or not
step forward because they’re not as confident; not
fully prepared in their own minds. Well, let me tell you men aren’t always prepared either,
and sometimes we just step out there and I see it like in a lot of places, but
one of the places I see it is in store visits, and over the last few years I have been traveling around international
a lot, and spending a lot of time in stores and clubs, and I see this situation that occurs
where as we go through the store and we’re
talking about what’s happening with the items and we’re in the back room and all
that kinda stuff there will be kinda a group that’s confident enough to stand
with me, make the tour happen, respond to questions, and
then there are these other people that are kinda standing a little bit back. Those of you that walk stores know
what I’m talking about. There’s kinda that outer ring. It happens almost every time, and it’s
happened even this last week, or the week before when we were in
Denver, where I’ll see and it’s generally women — that’s my point —
kinda back in an apparel rack somewhere 10 steps back. And I try to always stop and look at them and say “come here.” Make
room. Get in here. What do you do? What’s your
name? How long have you been with the company? What
do you think about this? Pull them in and ask them. And as it relates to this confidence
issue, one of the things that’s in the book is that confidence leads to action. And I think the challenge that I have
for the women that are here today is to feel confident enough to step out
there and take some action. Be bold. Know that the rest of us don’t
have this figured out either. I mean, I never thought I’d be in the job
that I’m in, and there are moments where I think I don’t know what to do here, so I just
fake it and get through it, and some of you guys have to do that too. Take action. And then the third topic is
related to the integration of life and work, and I think that’s a personal
issue and it’s different for all of us. You know, some of us get energy from work. Some of
us need to get away a little bit to recharge our batteries.
Some combination of that’s probably true for all of us. Um, Shelly and I are about to become empty
nesters. Our youngest son is going to go to
college in the fall and I’m gonna start crying if I talk about it very much, but it reminds me of this moment in time a
few years ago where one of our officers, happened to be a a guy, pulled me
aside. He was about to retire from the company and was leaving and and one things he said to me was Doug, my sons are grown and gone, and I missed it. I was working so hard that I didn’t take advantage of the
opportunity to be there when my son’s needed me to be there. Don’t make that mistake. And as our
children are getting ready to go to school I can confidently tell you I don’t think
I did. I don’t think I missed it. I was there. I was there for the events. I
was there to listen. We have a great relationship and I’m
really proud of that. Well, if I can do it, you guys can do it. And I
don’t care whether you’re male or female you can figure out what your solution is
and we want you to. Figure out how to make it work.
You’ve got the freedom to do that. And if you’ve got a knucklehead supervisor
that doesn’t get it, talk to me about it. Because we’ve got some who are in that situation. Jeff, is knucklehead an okay word? maybe So have the confidence, engage take some action, support each other, and
we’ll keep making this a better business through diversity of thought and through an
inclusive environment and we’ll let everybody in the world know what
it’s like to be part of Walmart.

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