Opportunity

Help Women-Owned Businesses Make Their Mark

Adding an extra item to your shopping cart may soon mean adding to the success of a woman-owned business.

When you see this logo identifying products made by women, supporting their efforts is as easy as making a purchase.

The logo, a collaboration between the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), WEConnect International and Walmart, was designed to make more people aware of the high-quality, unique products that are coming from these businesses. To qualify to use the logo, a business must be WBENC and/or WEConnect International certified, which means 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or group of women. Customers will begin seeing the logo later this year at Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs and in other stores around the world.

According to a Walmart survey, more people want to know about these products. In fact, 90% of Walmart’s women customers in the U.S. said they’d go out of their way to buy merchandise made by women.

Based on the facts, that vote is for good reason. Women-owned businesses are key players in global economic development and sustainability. They contribute more than $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy, and women are responsible for more than 80% of consumer decisions globally. It is important for women-owned businesses to have the same opportunities as their male counterparts in order to thrive and succeed.

At WBENC, we believe that this new logo will help support that. Not only will it let customers around the world know that they’re buying a product from a certified woman-owned business – it will also allow these businesses to continue to grow. By driving awareness of these products, their manufacturers will hopefully see a boost in sales, as well as consumer knowledge and loyalty.

We look forward to seeing how the new logo will help women-owned businesses drive new sources of revenue, deepen customer satisfaction and generate a stronger economy.

For details on how women-owned companies can receive certification, see www.womenownedlogo.com

5 Comments

Community

Helping Women Find Their Strong Suits Through Dress for Success

On New Year’s Eve 2014, Samantha pulled into a hotel in Northwest Arkansas, leaving an abusive relationship and destructive lifestyle behind in Texas.

Alone in a new state, with just her daughter, Samantha had no real plan in place, but she did have a goal: building a better life for herself. Two weeks after arriving and still seeking a job, Samantha heard about Dress for Success, a global nonprofit organization that provides professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help disadvantaged women thrive in work and in life.

In 2012, knowing that the local poverty rate was nearly 19% and the unemployment rate was 5.7%, several Walmart home office associates strongly believed that Northwest Arkansas was an important location for the organization's first affiliate in the state. Now nearly three years old, the mission for Dress for Success Northwest Arkansas remains the same: to help women like Samantha find financial independence as they work their way out of negative situations.

Dress For Success Volunteer Helping Client

Marie Paterson, a Walmart human resources associate who is a key leader with Dress for Success Northwest Arkansas, told me, “Volunteering with a local affiliate is especially meaningful because we’re making a difference right here. Our clients are becoming confident and equipped to raise not only their standard of living but also their families’, and they are becoming role models for their children, their friends and communities.”

When Samantha left Texas, friends and family weren’t the only things she left behind. She left behind the clothes and possessions that would present her as professional and hirable in interviews that another local agency had helped her find. Beyond that, she had no idea what to expect from Dress for Success.

Woman Standing at Desk Looking Through Papers

“The actual experience at Dress for Success was so much more powerful than I could have expected,” Samantha said. “Not only did they provide me with one-on-one attention for my suiting, but they did a mock interview and gave me feedback on areas to improve.” Later, Samantha said, she felt prepared and confident enough to ace her interview for her dream job: becoming a key member of the team at a local car dealership.

Now in a much healthier situation, Samantha is looking to the future and wants to be a “giant success” in the auto industry. She is actively looking for ways to reach out to women in situations similar to the one she left in Texas to show them that anything is possible. 

Be the first to comment on this article

Opportunity

7 Fathers, 7 Sons, 1 Distribution Center

Lots of people use the term “work family” casually, but in Marcy, N.Y., it’s quite the literal thing. At one Walmart distribution center, seven fathers and seven sons work alongside each other, all as Walmart truck drivers.

Having your parent as a coworker could be a nuisance for some, but for many of these sons, it’s a privilege. Watch them describe why they’ve looked up to their fathers for years, and why they ultimately chose to pursue the same road with Walmart logistics. 

Be the first to comment on this article

Community

Walmart #NWAChampionship Player Gaby Lopez: ‘The Impossible Can Be Possible’

This weekend, University of Arkansas golfer Gaby Lopez will enjoy her third opportunity to join LPGA players on the greens at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Here, she shares her thoughts on the tournament – as well as pursuing her dreams on and off the course.

WMT: You took up golf at age 4 while growing up in Mexico. What drew you to the sport? 

Lopez: My dad introduced me to golf. It all started as a fun game, nothing serious. A couple of years later, Lorena Ochoa became the No. 1 women’s golfer in the world. That was when I knew that the impossible can be possible, and golf became my passion. 

WMT: Tell us about your journey to today, where you’re a standout on the University of Arkansas golf team.

Lopez: Coming to the University of Arkansas has been the best decision I've made. I've grown as a golfer but more important as a person. I'm 100% certain that I have the right people around me, like Coach Shauna (Estes-Taylor) and Coach Mike (Adams), by my side that will always push me to be my best. 

Gaby Lopez smiles on a golf course during the LPGA Tour in Rogers, Arkansas

WMT: During this week’s event, you’re playing in front of hometown fans. What is that like? How does it compare to other tournaments?

Lopez: This tournament makes me feel like I’m at home. The Northwest Arkansas and Razorback communities have opened their doors to me and my family in a very special way. It is a huge honor to be able to represent my school and my country at the same time. Calling the Hogs with all the fans on No. 17 is one of my favorite golf moments - the energy is amazing. I feel blessed to have this opportunity for the third time in my collegiate career. 

WMT: Empowering women to recognize their full potential is a longtime priority for Walmart. You’re certainly a role model for other youth – do you have any advice for young girls on not just pursuing professional sports, but succeeding in whatever they do?

Lopez: My advice would be to always do and pursue what interests you, whether that is golf, sports or anything else. Discipline and passion are two characteristics I think a person needs to be successful, and I think believing in yourself is the most powerful tool of all. 

WMT: What are your own dreams, and what do you envision as your next step?

Lopez: I think everyone who plays the game dreams of being the best player ever and I certainly want to be the best player I can be. But I think more importantly I want to be remembered for what I did off the golf course. I want to finish out my senior season with the Razorbacks and enjoy every minute of the team atmosphere – that is a unique experience in golf. After graduation, I’ll start work on earning my Tour card and see where that journey takes me.    

Be the first to comment on this article

Opportunity

Fluent in Determination, I Mastered Both English and a Career


At the encouragement of my husband, I applied anyway at our local Walmart store in Miami. And to my surprise, it all worked out, because what I was able to communicate – determination – pulled me through.

Store Manager Bogey Say with Two Associates

Growing up in Mongolia gave me plenty of experience being the manager of my household, as I shopped and cared for my younger sister and brother while my parents worked nearly 24 hours a day. But I wanted something more for myself and them, so I started a retail store in my home country to help out. A few years in, I met my husband, an American who was in Mongolia teaching English. We married and moved to the United States, where different social norms gave me the inspiration to run with a new dream: having a career that allows me to be independent and also provide enough for my children.

Starting at Walmart at entry level, I set a goal for myself to be promoted every two years. And that has actually happened. More than a decade later, I have worked my way up to the position of store manager, leading a Supercenter in Haines City, Florida.

Bogey Say Training an Associate

How did I do it? Aside from personal grit, I made my first steps forward with Walmart's training program for new hires. Next, I talked to as many people as I could – having regular conversations with other associates helped me learn English pretty quickly. Later, having the support of mentors – like my market manager who saw that I had high expectations for myself – kept me moving further and further.

In the back of my mind, the stark separation of roles between women and men in Mongolia did impact my self-esteem a little bit. Even though my hard work was paying off at my job, I still feared things like public speaking, thinking others would make fun of my accent. But last year, I participated in another Walmart training program called Champions for Development, where we covered women and confidence. I sat in the back, quiet, as every woman in my group got up and spoke about themselves.  I thought to myself, if they can do it, why not me? And I made a personal commitment to no longer be afraid.

Store Manager Bogey Say with Store Associates

In March, that pledge became very real as I addressed a full auditorium at Walmart’s corporate office for International Women’s Day. My message was my story, which was this: If I can accomplish all of this in 13 years without knowing English at the start, then anyone can do it.

The language I knew all along, perseverance, has paid off, and now I’m speaking and teaching it confidently to nearly 380 associates in my home store.    

Be the first to comment on this article