How Walmart is working toward greater equity.
Shared Value Networks (SVNs) were created in 2020 and they are an important part of Walmart’s commitment to racial equity.
With SVNs, Walmart aims to use its core strengths—such as creating job opportunities—to make long-lasting change in criminal justice, education, finance and health systems.
There are four SVNs. Each is focused on one social system. The people on these four teams study national challenges and opportunities. They use their knowledge and experience to look for ways that Walmart can influence racial equity on a large scale.
The four SVNs are:
“Shared value is all about matching the organization’s experience and society’s challenges. We want to do that in a way that addresses the challenge and helps remove barriers, and then eventually—because of our size and because of what we do—we can benefit society as a whole,” explains Earvin Young, who is the Vice President of People Strategy and Portfolio Management at Sam’s Club and on the Education SVN.
Earvin shares one example for how SVNs work in the education realm. Walmart has partnered with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical (A&T) State University through the Equity in Education Initiative (E²I).
The partnership gives students and professors access to our company’s expertise and knowledge. Goals include improving students’ academic work, helping them graduate on time with less debt, and preparing students for careers.
On the other side of the equation, Walmart is also focused on creating opportunities for associates. For example, Live Better U gives associates the chance to learn and grow—which helps them advance at Walmart and Sam’s Club. We recently added many HBCUs (including North Carolina A&T) to our Live Better U program.
With about 1.6 million associates in the U.S. and programs like Live Better U as well as our community outreach efforts, Walmart hopes to make positive, important change in all areas of our society.