Some are reacting angrily to the fact that the CEO of Sam’s Club, who is an African-American woman, talked about the importance of diversity, saying it’s evidence she discriminates against white men.
Rosalind Brewer is the first woman and first African-American CEO at any of the retail divisions owned by Walmart. In an interview with CNN, Brewer talked about making diversity a priority. That has prompted a slew of online responses from people who believe diversity is synonymous with discrimination against white men, Business Insider reports.
“It has to start with top leadership,” Brewer told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “My executive team is very diverse and I make that a priority. I demand it within my team.”
During the interview, Brewer pointed out she also wants to see the suppliers Sam’s Club works with become more diverse.
“Just today we met with a supplier and the entire other side of the table was all Caucasian males,” she told Harlow. “That was interesting. I decided not to talk about it directly with [the supplier’s] folks in the room because there were actually no female, like, levels down. So I’m going to place a call to him.”
WalMart, which owns Sam’s Club, is backing Brewer.
“For years, we’ve asked our suppliers to prioritize the talent and diversity of their sales teams calling on our company,” Doug McMillon, President and CEO of WalMart Stores, Inc., said in a statement. “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.”
These comments have caused some to react angrily. Eric J. Meyers took to the Sam’s Club Facebook page to express his displeasure.
“Equal Opportunity is the Law.
Not this CEOs diverse opinion.
Undoubtably, you’re HR Dept. didn’t get to proofread you’re speech? BIG mistake.
Review your EEOC laws?
Here’s the link! You’re Welcome!”
Edward Martins invoked Martin Luther King, Jr., without a note of irony.
“‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.’ – Martin Luther King, Jr. As a white male I am deeply offended by the CEO of Sam’s club clearly racist attitudes towards white males. My family and I will be shopping at Costco. Thank you.”
Costco, however, has a similar diversity policy.
“Diversity in our employee base as well as our Supplier base is an important aspect of our business; by developing and maintaining partnerships with certified minority and women owned businesses, we are able to explore new ideas and maintain a fresh approach to our business, while positively affecting the economic development in the communities where we do business,” the Costco website reads.
Watch the interview with Brewer, as posted to YouTube, here: