Judith McKenna, President & CEO Walmart International
If you could suggest one action that organizations can take to accelerate the representation of women at the top, what would it be?
Make sure people recognize and understand that there is a difference between sponsorship and mentorship. Women are often over mentored and under sponsored. And what I mean by that is mentorship is important because it gives somebody encouragement, but sponsorship is advocating for them in every meeting you’re in, suggesting them for jobs, introducing them to other people, and always having them on your mind as you hear about opportunities around the company. Sponsorship is truly one of the ways that you make a difference.
And companies have to be transparent. As a company, Walmart made a commitment on all of our inclusion and diversity metrics to be transparent, and we publish a report twice a year so that, throughout the organization, everybody can see where we stand. And, actually, that creates the platform for people to then do something about it because they can see where they’re making a difference.
If you could suggest one action that women could take to accelerate their career growth, what would it be?
Use your voice and know that you’re in the room for a reason. Always do your homework so that you’re ready to speak up. And above all, be yourself – that’s the very best person you can be.
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