Monday, May 21, 2007

Hillary and Wal-Mart

I wanted to write about Hillary Clinton's tenure at Wal-Mart. Garance Franke-Ruta covers how Hillary Clinton's friends said she was concerned about women being promoted to management.

The fact that Wal-Mart’s one-time executives and board members would still describe concern for the equal treatment of women in the workplace as a “personal cause” despite the very public court battle current and former female Wal-Mart employees are waging against the firm, would seem to be a symptom of the attitude female employees are fighting against, and possibly even evidence for their suit. If the executives and board members are to be believed, Clinton tried to press the company to make progress on this issue years before the firm’s employees felt the situation so intolerable they had no recourse other than to sue. The class action suit only covers the period from late 1998 through the present, but the board of directors appears to have known there was a problem years before this — even Clinton’s 1986 invitation to join the board was the result of pressure from female Walton family members to increase women in higher-level positions with the company — and failed to take adequate action.

Wal-Mart had the biggest class action lawsuit in history filed against the company by 1.6 million female employees. It is easy to why why Clinton didn't want to be interviewed for the New York Times story.

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