This spring, I had the privilege of attending a gathering of Walmart associates (employees) across 18 countries during its first Global Women’s Forum. As part of the Forum, a group of powerful women including Academy Award winner Geena Davis, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi, and BBC lead anchor and author Katty Kay, spoke to thousands of associates around the world about three topics relevant to both men and women in the workplace: confidence, mentoring and work/life integration.
As I shared words of advice to those in attendance, I reflected on my own career. Over the last six years, I have grown in my role at Walmart, becoming the senior vice president of merchandise execution, and later the senior vice president of the home division, overseeing the buying, branding, product development and collaboration across functions.
Today, I serve as the EVP of the consumables and health and wellness divisions and U.S. manufacturing lead, and I proudly accepted a role this year as the chair of Walmart’s President’s Global Council of Women Leaders. For me, serving as chair of this council is not just another part of my job. My mentors have had a tremendous impact on my career, and I have always sought opportunities to pay it forward by exercising my passion and energy for helping other women realize their potential.
Everyone faces challenges when building their career and women often fail to talk about their struggles. That’s why I was so eager to accept my role of council chair, which gives me the ability to help thousands of female associates realize their potential and elevate their careers.
The President’s Council of Global Women Leaders launched the Global Women’s Forum, which focuses on developing the future women leaders of our company from across the globe and championing opportunities for women to grow and thrive. As chair, I have the privilege to give back to the women I work with every day. As I’ve always said, sometimes you need time out of your day to think about yourself, your plan and how you’re doing. This is what the Forum provided our associates - an opportunity to think about their own career plans and pathways to growth.
I’m so proud to work for a company like Walmart, where the number of female board members exceeds the Fortune 500 average and the number of female corporate officers is double the Fortune 500 average. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation help to train nearly 1 million women across retail, agriculture and factories.
Now, Walmart is taking another step by making the inspirational content from the Global Women’s Forum available to anyone through our free digital library of content for development at http://corporate.walmart.com/global-womens-forum.
At the Forum, it was said that as women, we need to generate our own tail winds. My challenge to women worldwide is to use this library to listen to strong inspirational female leaders who once walked in your shoes and create your own tail winds to help advance your careers and lives.