Alleged Sexual Discrimination at Walmart

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    • 00:05

      [What would you do?Wal mart and HRM]

    • 00:10

      STEWART CLEGG: So Wal-mart's one of the most successfulorganizations in the world and globally.Globally is in the world, isn't it?Anyway, Wal-mart in America, I thinkthe statistic is about one in every three peoplebuy the groceries from Wal-mart.And they employ a great many people.And they're a fairly hard organization in some ways

    • 00:32

      STEWART CLEGG [continued]: though.They're not very tolerant of unions,and they have had some trouble with sexual discrimination,I believe.Can you tell me a little bit about that Tyrone?

    • 00:41

      TYRONE PITSIS: Yeah.The first thing is to realize that Wal-martis a massive organization.So to assume it's just one organization, it's ridiculous.It's lots of different organizations.And often some parts don't know what other parts are doing.So that's the first thing to establish.But the thing is that there was a charge made.

    • 01:03

      TYRONE PITSIS [continued]: In the US, you have to submit a charge before you can sue.And so just under 2,000 women made chargesthat they've been discriminated against of menin the workplace.

    • 01:20

      STEWART CLEGG: What was the outcome of this?

    • 01:23

      TYRONE PITSIS: Well, there's been several attempts.One of them was thrown out of court.Then there was another one submitted in 2013.So it's an ongoing thing.It's an ongoing problem that they had.There's lots of protests.If you look on Google, you'll see lots of protests videosand stuff like that against--

    • 01:40

      STEWART CLEGG: This can't be good for Wal-mart'scorporate image.

    • 01:42

      TYRONE PITSIS: No.No.Even if it's not true, it's not good for their image.

    • 01:47

      STEWART CLEGG: What can Walmart do about this?What should they be doing about it?

    • 01:51

      TYRONE PITSIS: Well, I think they should show leadership.If I was advising them, I'd say, look, forget the lawyers.Take leadership on this.And I would establish a management boardthat is predominantly concerned with the status of womenin the organization.So we'd look at all the HR policies and practices,

    • 02:14

      TYRONE PITSIS [continued]: because a lot of these sexist policies and practicesaren't intentional.They're institutionalized in terms of--

    • 02:22

      STEWART CLEGG: So they're unanticipated consequencesof things that have always gone on?

    • 02:26

      TYRONE PITSIS: Yeah, what was going onand the way we've done things.We don't need to have people at work at certain timesall the time now, but to do certain kinds of workall the time.We can actually have more innovative approachesto doing work that are much more conducive to say,if a woman wants to have a family,it's not discriminatory against her to,if she chooses to have a baby, to come back

    • 02:46

      TYRONE PITSIS [continued]: into the workplace.So there are ways to work, having it more family friendly.Men get discriminated as well, like fathers.They often have to miss out on many things thathappen in their children's lives and so on.So there's lots of ways you can design work in a way that--

    • 03:02

      STEWART CLEGG: You said earlier that Wal-martis tough to think of it as just one organization.But in governance terms, it is.And what you're suggesting are changes in the governanceframework, aren't they?And even though there might be thousandsof Wal-mart stores everywhere, if those changes in governmentswere implemented, they would have really important knock

    • 03:23

      STEWART CLEGG [continued]: on effects in all the local communities in which Wal-martis established.

    • 03:26

      TYRONE PITSIS: Well, it's simple to mebecause it is a governance issue.And if over 50% of your population are females,then you're totally unrepresentinga major representation of your population.So it's the organizations and thinkingabout how do we actually engage people more, particularly

    • 03:46

      TYRONE PITSIS [continued]: over 50% of our population, then we're nota very good organization strategically.

    • 03:52

      STEWART CLEGG: And we don't look too goodin the press when this stuff happens.

    • 03:55

      TYRONE PITSIS: And we look reallygood if we're the thought leaders in this area.

    • 03:59

      STEWART CLEGG: Yeah.

    • 03:60

      TYRONE PITSIS: Yeah.

    • 04:00

      STEWART CLEGG: Yeah.OK.I think that's pretty good.Thank you.Thank you, Tyrone.

Alleged Sexual Discrimination at Walmart

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Abstract

Professors Stewart Clegg and Tyrone Pitsis discuss Walmart's sex discrimination issues, with Pitsis displaying a fundamental misunderstanding about what sex discrimination is. Both men recommend that Walmart take an active leadership role in rooting out sex discrimination and bad HR policies, rather than just defending itself against accusations.

Alleged Sexual Discrimination at Walmart

Professors Stewart Clegg and Tyrone Pitsis discuss Walmart's sex discrimination issues, with Pitsis displaying a fundamental misunderstanding about what sex discrimination is. Both men recommend that Walmart take an active leadership role in rooting out sex discrimination and bad HR policies, rather than just defending itself against accusations.

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