Your Voice, My Voice, Our Voices: Walmart’s Suresh Kumar on Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month

Originally published at  Executive Vice President, Global Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer at Walmart. Walmart ranked No. 26 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022. 


Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is traditionally celebrated every May in the U.S., and I also want to take this opportunity to recognize our many Walmart associates and customers around the globe. I’m often reminded of how much rich diversity exists within the AAPI community and how important it is to foster an inclusive culture in our stores, clubs, fulfillment centers, distribution centers and corporate offices, where every voice is heard.

Walmart’s core value of Respect for the Individual is particularly important to me. I have the privilege of serving as executive champion of the Asian Pacific Associates Network (APAN), and I continue to hear and share concerns about the growth of anti-Asian sentiment and violence we’ve seen across the country. The words of Malala Yousafzai, the world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate, remain with me: “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” Thank you for raising your voices as individuals and collectively. We are stronger together.

I’m encouraged by the work of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to fund and support organizations including The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) and Center for Asian Pacific American Women, both of which seek to advance equity and inclusion on behalf of the AAPI community. We are also continuing to celebrate AAPI associates and businesses through experiences on and in support of AAPI Heritage Month.

Within the workplace, we are also seeing positive signs of growth. Findings from our upcoming Culture, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 2021 Annual Report reflect that management representation for our U.S. workforce is 11.82% Asian and Pacific Islander. Additionally, opportunities for advancement are strong for our Asian and Pacific Islander associates who saw 11.97% of all management-to-management promotions.

Representation matters, and these indicators speak to the continued growth of the AAPI community at Walmart. As a technologist, I believe that diversity drives innovation, and it also is a critical component of creating a place where everyone feels they belong.

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