Walmart Still in NOW's 'Gender-Gap' Crosshairs

Chuck Roger

Despite emerging victorious from a class action suit alleging sex discrimination, Walmart recently announced costly programs designed to "help empower women across its supply chain." Over the next five years, the mega-company will "source" $20 billion from female-owned American companies and double purchases from global suppliers run by women. Walmart will offer training and specific career opportunities to 60,000 female factory workers to help those women "develop the skills they need to become more active decision-makers in their jobs and for their families."

Not enough, says National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill. In O'Neill's way of thinking, Walmart has committed many past sins for which the company must repent. Spending a mere $20 billion that the company is not legally compelled to spend on women's professional development apparently doesn't scratch the surface layer of required penance.

O'Neill wants Walmart to "follow the law, stop discriminating against women ... be transparent [and] allow independent auditors to go in and actually ascertain that they are following civil rights laws with respect to employment discrimination." O'Neill also wants Walmart to "create some family friendly policies for women trying to make it up the corporate ladder at Walmart." The NOW president explained that the company should create work schedules in which women are not forced to decide whether to spend time with their children on holidays or work at Walmart.

Point for point, the NOW president's demands are harebrained.

First, NOW wants Walmart to stop engaging in a practice (sex discrimination) for which the Supreme Court of the United States found insufficient evidence of existence.

Secondly, what constitutes "independent" audits in NOW's view is not specified. Picture any company, from mom's and pop's country store to the world's largest retailer, allowing a third party to probe into, analyze, and judge hiring, firing, performance review, and employee promotion practices. A realistic expectation? Or a shrill Big Sister on steroids?

And finally, O'Neill's third demand--holiday flex-time specifically aimed at moms--is a jewel. How does a fair-minded, logically-operating employer go about deciding which employees to boost up the "corporate ladder?" The operative terms are "fair-minded" and "logically-operating." To act in a fair manner, an employer would select workers for promotion after applying logic to objective performance data. In other words, employees who contribute more would get promoted faster than employees who contribute less.

But gender-tribalist organizations such as NOW see such reasoning as obstructive to the feminist agenda--an agenda in which employers must create special "work schedules" to preferentially treat certain employees. The gender gap warrior's El Dorado is a workplace that exempts women who want to spend less time at work and more time with their children from the same performance evaluation criteria against which other employees are judged.

NOW President O'Neill's holiday work-time thinking is something to behold. The logic is worth breaking down.

1.      Require that people who find a way to manage both family and work put in the holiday hours.

2.      Let moms who do not wish to give up holiday time be credited with the same dedication and contributions as employees who do give up holiday time.

3.      Women who want to be moms and corporate executives must be considered a special class which deserves to be treated as, well, special.

It's a special world, the world inside the feminist mind.


A writer, physicist, former high tech executive, and Cajun, Chuck Rogér invites you to sign up to receive his "Clear Thinking" blog posts by email at http://www.chuckroger.com/. Contact Chuck at swampcactus@chuckroger.com.


Despite emerging victorious from a class action suit alleging sex discrimination, Walmart recently announced costly programs designed to "help empower women across its supply chain." Over the next five years, the mega-company will "source" $20 billion from female-owned American companies and double purchases from global suppliers run by women. Walmart will offer training and specific career opportunities to 60,000 female factory workers to help those women "develop the skills they need to become more active decision-makers in their jobs and for their families."

Not enough, says National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill. In O'Neill's way of thinking, Walmart has committed many past sins for which the company must repent. Spending a mere $20 billion that the company is not legally compelled to spend on women's professional development apparently doesn't scratch the surface layer of required penance.

O'Neill wants Walmart to "follow the law, stop discriminating against women ... be transparent [and] allow independent auditors to go in and actually ascertain that they are following civil rights laws with respect to employment discrimination." O'Neill also wants Walmart to "create some family friendly policies for women trying to make it up the corporate ladder at Walmart." The NOW president explained that the company should create work schedules in which women are not forced to decide whether to spend time with their children on holidays or work at Walmart.

Point for point, the NOW president's demands are harebrained.

First, NOW wants Walmart to stop engaging in a practice (sex discrimination) for which the Supreme Court of the United States found insufficient evidence of existence.

Secondly, what constitutes "independent" audits in NOW's view is not specified. Picture any company, from mom's and pop's country store to the world's largest retailer, allowing a third party to probe into, analyze, and judge hiring, firing, performance review, and employee promotion practices. A realistic expectation? Or a shrill Big Sister on steroids?

And finally, O'Neill's third demand--holiday flex-time specifically aimed at moms--is a jewel. How does a fair-minded, logically-operating employer go about deciding which employees to boost up the "corporate ladder?" The operative terms are "fair-minded" and "logically-operating." To act in a fair manner, an employer would select workers for promotion after applying logic to objective performance data. In other words, employees who contribute more would get promoted faster than employees who contribute less.

But gender-tribalist organizations such as NOW see such reasoning as obstructive to the feminist agenda--an agenda in which employers must create special "work schedules" to preferentially treat certain employees. The gender gap warrior's El Dorado is a workplace that exempts women who want to spend less time at work and more time with their children from the same performance evaluation criteria against which other employees are judged.

NOW President O'Neill's holiday work-time thinking is something to behold. The logic is worth breaking down.

1.      Require that people who find a way to manage both family and work put in the holiday hours.

2.      Let moms who do not wish to give up holiday time be credited with the same dedication and contributions as employees who do give up holiday time.

3.      Women who want to be moms and corporate executives must be considered a special class which deserves to be treated as, well, special.

It's a special world, the world inside the feminist mind.


A writer, physicist, former high tech executive, and Cajun, Chuck Rogér invites you to sign up to receive his "Clear Thinking" blog posts by email at http://www.chuckroger.com/. Contact Chuck at swampcactus@chuckroger.com.