Walmart, Inc | Racial and gender layoff diversity at Walmart, Inc

1.46% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI)
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Walmart report annually on its policies and practices to help ensure that its elected Board of Directors attains the racial and gender representation of the employees it lays off to ensure that it is able to gauge whether Walmart is making layoffs in alignment with its fiduciary and related duties not to discriminate on the basis of race and sex. The report should be prepared at reasonable cost, omitting proprietary information, litigation strategy and legal compliance information.
Supporting statement
"In 2022, news broke that Walmart would lay off corporate employees as part of an effort to restructure.1 News reports indicated that around 200 employees would be laid off from the Company's Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters and other corporate offices from a variety of departments including merchandising, global technology and real-estate teams.2 At the time, a Walmart spokeswoman confirmed that there were roles being eliminated as the company updated its structure, but said that the company was also investing in other areas and creating some new roles.3
Given the emphasis Walmart has placed in recent years on its ""Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion"" (CDEI) initiatives, it is important for shareholders and the Board to know whether and to what extent these layoffs were made in furtherance of the Company's CDEI goals. For instance, Walmart provides company leaders access to a ""CDEI Dashboard"" that provides information on employee demographics to be used in decision-making. According to Walmart's website:
The CDEI Dashboard provides Walmart's U.S.-based officers (Vice President and above) and their HR business partners (HRBPs) with monthly-refreshed data on the representation and movement (hires, promotions and exits) of women and people of color within their respective organizations. Officers and their HRBPs utilize data and insights from the CDEI Dashboard to inform customized CDEI action plans for their organization.4
In addition to using a CDEI Dashboard to inform company action, Walmart also includes Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in performance evaluations and compensation decisions, making transparency in these efforts even more critically important.5
Walmart has made clear its intent to increase the proportional representation of women and people of color in its workforce, particularly when it comes to higher-paying management and officer positions. But in doing that it must ensure that it is not violating any employee's civil rights by making employment decisions – including layoff decisions – with race or sex as part of the consideration.6 For the protection of employees and shareholders the Board should know, and should be held accountable for knowing, whether the data suggest that discrimination in the layoff-selection process might be occurring, so that it can properly protect the company from potential reputational and litigation risk."

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
Anima Sgr Against As the company has appropriate policies and practices to give the board visibility to the company’s workforce statistics.
Walmart states that the Compensation and Management Development Committee of the board reviews the company’s human capital management strategies. The company prohibits discrimination and harassment, including with regard to termination. The company has potential areas of improvement for its CDEI policies and processes. However, it is not clear if the proposal is requesting that the company publicly report these statistics or only report practices that the company uses to inform the board. The company provides enhanced disclosure related to workforce statistics, and disclosing statistics related to laid off employees is not a standard practice.
The board appears to currently have appropriate policies and practices in place to allow it to have visibility into the company’s workforce statistics.
EFG Asset Management Against
Rothschild & co Asset Management Against

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