Responsible Sourcing: Kristina’s Job Shadow

Categories: Members

Last week I had the privilege to visit with the Responsible Sourcing department at Walmart. The managers and senior leaders I met with shared both inspirational stories and the various challenges they face within their role in the department.

My first impression as I entered the Global People Center, and the feeling of culture that I got as I spent my afternoon with them was that of extreme positivity. Within the first 20 seconds I had numerous people ask me how they could help me find my way or show me around. As one of the senior directors led me to their department, I was greeted by everyone with smiles and introduced to more people than I can remember. I felt like royalty. It was true outpouring of friendliness, openness, and acceptance of everyone with all types of backgrounds and homelands.

I got to spend my time with five managers and senior managers, who were responsible for overseeing everything from training and labor, to programming and apparel.

One story I heard in particular was incredibly impactful. Responsible Sourcing at Walmart is able to reach communities from all over the world. One of Walmart’s goals in doing this is to empower women. This particular success story involves a womanwho worked for a manufactory company in Bangladesh that had implemented equality programs for their employees. After going through the program, she said that her and her husband’s daily life had completely changed. She was so empowered, that she went to her neighbor to share what she been taught about equality. Their neighbors, who had a son and a daughter, were so impacted of what she was teaching, that their daily life was impacted as well. Their son was no longer of higher value than their daughter, and they started taking as much care of their daughter as they did for their son. In fact, she no longer had to be late for work, because her husband was now willing to help out at the home with duties, such as taking the kids to school. With Walmart’s empowerment program they were able to not only empower the workers at the company, but to empower women to empower others as well. This was truly a story of success.

As I listened to the impacts and challenges, I learned about questions that they have to ask themselves as they face different cultural and personal perspectives on business, equality, and values. Questions as to how to implement Walmart’s core values where corruption is a part of doing business. Weigh and understand the best way to implement and drive changes in cultures. Rating expectations and risks on both sides and other, while knowing that in the end business is all about the dollar.

While balancing all these questions and so many more, Responsible Sourcing strives to increase the value for all partners by building empowerment among the manufacturing workers, ensuring worker safety and well-being, and promoting transparency in their supply chain.

Needless to say, my afternoon at the Global People Center made an impact on me, and I appreciate their continual dedication to help improve global business and the lives of others.

 

Ms Kristina Arge-Kristina Arge, Vice President, Enactus John Brown University

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: EnactusJBU

Seeing Opportunities - Taking Action - Enabling Progress

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