Empowering women and shaping futures through Walmart Canada’s Rising Star program

March 7, 2024

At the heart of Walmart Canada’s commitment to fostering diverse leadership is its Rising Star program – an initiative propelling women leaders to the forefront of the business. With International Women’s Day taking centre stage, we’re proud to showcase its ongoing success.

Nadia Shahid, Operations Manager and Rising Star graduate, reflects on her transformative journey within the program. “Countless tools for personal and professional development, connections across business units, and real-life application of leadership skills – this program challenged me in ways I never imagined,” she shares.

The Rising Star program was born from a successful pilot in 2020. It was designed, developed and deployed in Canada, and now spans Store Operations, Supply Chain, and the Head Office, ensuring inclusivity across all areas of the business.

Exposure, Experience and Empowerment

The program revolves around three key pillars: exposure, experience and empowerment. High-potential associates, identified through a rigorous assessment process, are paired with sponsors and coaches at the senior level. Providing them with a voice at the decision-making table, they guide Rising Stars through mentorship and special projects. Throughout the year-long program, participants engage in monthly meetings with their sponsor, participate in new opportunities and experiences, and meet with senior leadership to discuss their career goals.

“Participating in the Rising Star program has been an enlightening journey, unveiling deep insights about myself and paving the path for my personal development as a leader,” says Rebecca Mills, Program Manager and Rising Star participant. “The relationships formed with fellow Rising Stars and the guidance received from sponsors have been invaluable in this experience.”

This multi-layered program empowers Rising Stars through networking, regional engagement, and driving change within their teams.

Over 260 associates have gone through or are currently participating in the program since its inception. Notably, last year, 92 per cent of our Rising Stars were either promoted or demonstrated advanced readiness for their next role. The program underscores Walmart’s commitment to achieving equity and shaping a workplace where every woman can thrive.

“Thanks to the Rising Star program, Walmart Canada became the canvas for my future. Others saw potential in me before I did, and this belief has been the cornerstone of my journey," said Madeline Tur, Store Manager and Rising Star graduate. “It accelerated my growth in ways I never imagined, and I am forever grateful for the experience.”