ROGERS — The 2012 Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship may be over, but business connections made during the ladies golf tournament are long-lasting. The recent Women’s Day at the LPGA is one such event where relationships are fostered.
The sold-out breakfast event, hosted by the Northwest Arkansas group of the Network of Executive Women (NEW), began and ended with networking opportunities for those in attendance, most of whom are involved in the consumer products and retail industries. In between, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. president and CEO Mike Duke led a panel discussion about diversity and inclusion with Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Wal-Mart U.S.; Elane Stock, president of Kimberly-Clark Professional; and Alison Kenney Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution leader for Deloitte.
Each of the women had a story to tell about overcoming a difficult situation early in their careers. All said they were underestimated because they were women.
“What’s important is what you do with it, when faced with a challenge,” Ruiz said.
“Men should learn the value of a diverse table,” Duke added. Following the panel discussion, he received an award for induction into the NEW CPG Retail Diversity Hall of Fame for 2012.
The nonprofit Network of Executive Women has some 5,000 active members representing more than 400 companies in the consumer products and retail industry. The Northwest Arkansas chapter, formed in 2004, is the second-oldest of the 19 NEW chapters.
The first Women’s Day at the LPGA event was conducted in 2008.