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Walmart ranked 6 on LGBT support

by Serenah McKay | May 29, 2021 at 1:55 a.m.
This undated file photo shows Walmart's sign in front of its Bentonville headquarters.

Walmart Inc. placed sixth on Diversity Inc.'s recently released 2021 list of large U.S. companies that support gay and transgender employees and suppliers.

The company also was the highest-ranked retailer on Diversity Inc.'s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list, placing 32nd, a Walmart spokeswoman said Thursday.

Walmart's workplace policies and resources as well as its philanthropic gifts to LGBT organizations factored into the rankings, according to Diversity Inc.

A media and marketing firm in New Jersey, Diversity Inc. gathers data from the world's major corporations. With that information, it develops software that companies can use to achieve their diversity goals with their workforce and suppliers.

The annual Top 50 list is drawn from corporate survey submissions, according to the company's website. The same data gathered from the surveys is used to determine the top specialty lists in categories such as people with disabilities; talent acquisition for women of color; supplier diversity; and philanthropy.

Walmart's spokeswoman also pointed out that the Bentonville-based retailer earned a 100% rating on the 2021 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertaining to LGBT employees. In addition, the company was designated a 2021 Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

Despite all the kudos, though, a study by the employment website Glassdoor.com suggests some LGBT employees at Walmart aren't as happy there as their non-LGBT counterparts.

Last year, Glassdoor said, it began allowing users to voluntarily -- and anonymously -- put their demographic information on their profiles. When users wrote reviews about a current or former employer, they were asked to give the company a 1- to 5-star "Diversity & Inclusion Rating."

The reviews can be filtered by the reported demographic characteristics.

When Walmart's reviews are filtered for sexual orientation, the results show that the 84 respondents identifying themselves as LGBT gave the company an average rating of 2.7 stars. In contrast, more than 400 respondents who identified themselves as heterosexual gave Walmart 3.2 stars.

Ratings were based on six workplace factors: career opportunities; compensation; culture; diversity and inclusion; senior leadership; and work-life balance. Over all the companies, LGBT employees were most unhappy with senior leadership, followed by career opportunities and compensation.

The number of respondents who chose to reveal their sexual orientation is small, making it difficult to draw a definitive conclusion from the ratings.

In Walmart's 2020 Culture, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report, issued in April, Walmart outlined a number of actions it has taken to foster diversity and inclusion companywide.

For instance, Walmart once again awarded a grant to PFLAG National, an organization for LGBT people and their parents, families and allies.

The company also sponsored the Ad Council's 2020 Love Has No Labels campaign. According to its website, Love Has No Labels is "a movement to promote acceptance and inclusion of all people across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability."

Walmart also has what it calls "Associate Resource Groups" that represent different segments of the company's more than 1.5 million U.S. workers. For more than 15 years, these groups have worked to foster an inclusive environment in the workplace; attract and retain diverse talent; and enhance Walmart's reputation in the communities it serves.

Associate resource groups include Walmart Pride. Group members advise the company on policy and participate in Pride events around the country. Besides growing in the U.S., the group has helped establish others in some of the company's international markets.

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