Rosalind Brewer, Sam’s Club president and CEO, is catching heat on social media for her statement about a subcontractors’ senior staff of “all Caucasian males.”
The backlash for Brewer came after her interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, where the two discussed “diversity” in the upper echelons of corporate America.
“My executive team is very diverse, and I make that a priority,” Brewer said when asked what she thought could be done to add more minorities and women to more of America’s front offices.
“I demand it of my team and within the structure. I try to use my platform for that. I try to set an example. I try to mentor many women inside my company and outside the company because I think it’s important.”
“Just today,” Brewer added, “we met with a supplier, and the entire other side of the table was all Caucasian males. That was interesting. I decided not to talk about it directly with the supplier’s folks in the room because there were actually no females, like, levels down. So I’m going to place a call to him.”
— Alt Right (@_AltRight_) December 15, 2015
In an effort to quell calls for Brewer’s firing, Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon issued a statement defending her and the company’s stance on diversity. “For years, we’ve asked our suppliers to prioritize the talent and diversity of their sales teams calling on our company,” McMillon said Monday evening. “Roz was simply trying to reiterate that we believe diverse and inclusive teams make for a stronger business. That’s all there is to it and I support that important ideal.”
Sam’s Club also recently announced an investment of $13.6 million to support female and minority business owners.
Some have come out in support of Brewer, adding that her comments weren’t racist at all:
Absolutely NOTHING racist about Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer’s statement on diversity. Nothing! An anemic attempt to turn things around.
— Dhealthstore.com (@Dhealthstore) December 14, 2015