A Walmart internal survey showed several Black supervisors, senior managers, and directors would not recommend the company to others.
According to a Bloomberg report, employees surveyed said they faced barriers when trying to advance their careers. Those barriers include unequal access to growth opportunities, internal politics, and favoritism. The survey’s findings, which 56 high-ranking Black employees took, were presented to the retail giant’s senior leadership members.
According to Bloomberg, some Black employees were very critical about working for Walmart.
“I have been here 10 years and I have never recommended Walmart to a person of color. I have recommended others to leave,” one Black director said in the survey. “Pay, benefits, not bad—but recommend? NEVER. EVER.”
A Walmart spokesperson told CNBC in a statement the survey was “early research,” and the survey had an “unscientific and limited sample size.”
Walmart, the countries largest employer, has been vocal about its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts amid the Black Lives Matter resurgence last summer. The retail giant committed $100 million over the next five years in grants through its Center for Racial Equity. It also teamed with North Carolina A&T to launch an initiative for Black STEM graduates and has donated more than $10 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Black employees make up 21% of Walmart’s workforce, which’s higher than the percentage of Black employees in the U.S. population (13.4%). However, the higher up the corporate ranks, the lower Black representation gets. At the management level, just 12% of employees are Black, and at the officer level, just 8% of employees are Black, according to Walmart’s 2020 equity and inclusion report.
In comparison, Target’s 2020 Diversity Report revealed half of the company’s 350,000 team members are people of color, and 58% of team members are women. Additionally, nearly half (42%) of Target’s leadership team are women, and nearly a quarter (24%) are people of color.