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Diversity office formed

Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, December 1, 2003

On the heels of last month's immigration raids, a federal probe of its hiring and ongoing complaints about its labor practices, Wal-Mart has formed an Office of Diversity.

The company said it will serve as a focal point for all of its diversity initiatives, including employment practices, supplier relations and community outreach. Charlyn Jarrells Porter, an 11-year company veteran, will head the office.

"Just saying we are committed to diversity is not enough — we must put in place the right systems, processes and leadership to make it happen," said Lee Scott, ceo.

Porter is a former prosecutor who handled crimes against women and children. She later joined Wal-Mart's legal dept. and most recently led the People Division (human resources) for U.S. stores. Also, Esther Silver-Parker was named vp of Diversity Relations. She is currently AT&T's vp of corporate affairs and corporate citizenship.

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