Investing in Today and Tomorrow

I would not be where I am today without the support of the network of people who have invested in me. From mentors and teachers to bosses and friends, people have taken chances on me and made investments in my future; and that influence reinforced in me a passion for developing and promoting opportunities for others. I believe in empowering people and ensuring everyone gets an equal opportunity—whether it’s through my involvement in the education system or with associates on my team.

Shortly after joining Walmart Legal in 2004, I was sent on a two-year recruiting journey in an effort to bring top diverse talent to our legal department—namely women and people of color. At the time, our team didn’t reflect our customer base, and that needed to change. Over an 18-month period, we worked with diversity organizations and national minority bar associations to hire about 50 attorneys, diverse in ethnicity, geography, and backgrounds. We transformed the makeup of an entire team, and that experience had a profound, lasting impact on our business and on my approach to recruitment and development.

Leaders have a responsibility to be intentional about diverse and inclusive hiring practices, and identify the unconscious biases that could influence decisions. But it is more than just being intentional about hiring diverse talent. You also have to be deliberate about developing and promoting your talented associates after they are hired. I seek out people who bring something to the table that I don’t already have and assemble teams that will challenge me and illuminate my blind spots. Leaders should hire great people and empower them to find the best solutions—an empowered team with diversity of thought, background, and experience is a business imperative for problem solving in today’s fast-paced retail environment.

Workplace diversity, inclusion, and development are talked about time and again because they are critical to successful societies and businesses. By recruiting, retaining, and developing diverse teams, we help unleash each associate’s full potential and drive business results. When we commit to diversity, inclusion, and development, we are not only investing in today but also in the future.