Wal-Mart has committed $100-million in grants to nonprofit groups that provide job training to women as part of a $20-billion campaign to boost female economic development, according to The New York Times and the Associated Press.
The grants will support development of work and financial skills for hundreds of thousands of women in the United States and abroad, including female employees at Wal-Mart’s suppliers.
The retail giant also pledged to spend $20-billion in the next five years on products from domestic women-owned businesses, a 60-percent increase.
“This is a game changer,” said Helen Gayle, chief executive of the humanitarian charity Care USA, which worked with Wal-Mart to develop the program. “This is a large initiative. If Wal-Mart begins to change the way it does its practices, it can have a huge impact on other corporations and other retailers.”
Leslie A. Dach, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president for corporate affairs, said the program was not a response to a class-action lawsuit charging the company with persistent discrimination against female workers. The Supreme Court in June refused to allow the lawsuit to proceed.