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Walmart Launches Multi-Billion Dollar Women’s Initiative

Hannah Madans |
September 14, 2011 | 12:02 p.m. PDT

Associate News Editor

courtesy Creative Commons
courtesy Creative Commons
Retail giant Walmart announced a multi-billion dollar women’s initiative Wednesday after defeating a discrimination suit brought by female employees to the Supreme Court.

The case was dismissed three months ago by the Supreme Court. Walmart may, however, still face charges of gender-bias in lower courts.

The suit was filed in 2001 on behalf of up to 1 million female workers suing for discrimination.

Justices said the lawyers involved in the case did not point to a common corporate policy that led to gender discrimination, Bloomberg reports.

The initiative will buy $20 billion of products from female-owned businesses and train women to work in factories and retail. Around 200,000 women internationally and 200,000 women from low-income households in the U.S. will be aided in gaining job skills and access to higher education. The initiative will also ask corporate partners to promote more women and donate $100 million to women’s nonprofit groups, The Daily Beast reports.

"Helping more women live better is a defining issue for our business and our world," Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke said in a statement. "We're stepping up our efforts to help educate, source from and open markets for women around the world. We want women to view us as a retailer that is relevant to them and cares about them. We want them to be leading suppliers, managers and loyal customers."

Walmart’s stock price jumped 73 cents to $52.32 when the initiative was announced Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.  Before today, Walmart shares had fallen 4.3 percent this year.


Reach associate news editor Hannah Madans here.


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