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Network of Executive Women honors Walmart chief Duke with diversity award


CHICAGO — The Network of Executive Women is honoring Michael Duke, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, with its William J. Grize Diversity Hall of Fame Award, on June 28 during Women's Day at the LPGA in Rogers Ark. The award, named after the late CEO of Ahold USA, who was an early advocate of industry diversity, is bestowed upon industry leaders who have demonstrated "an enduring commitment to the advancement of women and to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace," NEW announced.

"Under Mike Duke’s leadership, the world’s largest retail company has promoted talented women to the highest levels," said NEW President and CEO Joan Toth. "His commitment to gender diversity and inclusion has put a spotlight on the importance and value of developing women leaders and continues to strengthen Walmart's position in the marketplace."

Duke will receive the award at Women's Day at the LPGA, an official event of the Walmart Northwest Arkansas LPGA golf championship. The breakfast event will be co-hosted by NEW Northwest Arkansas June 28 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the John Q. Hammonds Center in Rogers, Ark.

The event will feature a panel discussion by industry leaders, including Duke; Gisel Ruiz, EVP and COO of Walmart US; Elane Stock, president of Kimberly-Clark Professional; and past Network of Executive Women Board Chair Alison Kenney Paul, vice chair, U.S. retail leader, principal for Deloitte. The event is open to industry members who register online at

During Duke's tenure as president and CEO, Rosalind Brewer, the first chairperson of the Walmart president's council of global women leaders, became the first woman and African American to lead one of Walmart's three business units when she was promoted to chief executive of Sam's Club in January. At the same time, Walmart promoted Gisel Ruiz to EVP and COO of its U.S. business and Karenann Terrell to CIO.

"Being involved in the Network’s leadership, I have the opportunity to see how a variety of companies lead diversity," said NEW board chair Michelle Gloeckler, SVP home for Walmart U.S. "I can assure you, at Walmart it's part of our culture and we believe we are the best at it in the industry around the globe."

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