Wal-Mart launches global women's economic empowerment initiatives

Bentonville, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores unveiled a multibillion-dollar women¹s initiative whereby it double the money it spends with women-owned businesses, train women around the world and push major suppliers to use more women and minorities on work they do for the retailer. The ambitious program comes three months after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a massive, class-action gender- bias lawsuit against the retailer.

The plan includes buying $20 billion of products from U.S. female-owned businesses in the next five years and training women to work in factories and retail around the globe. Wal-Mart also will provide more than $100 million in grants to non-profit organizations aiding women.

“We’re stepping up our efforts to help educate, source from and open markets for women around the world,” CEO Mike Duke said in a statement. “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."

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