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Walmart Chief Legal Officer Promotes Work-Life Balance

National Retail Federation | March 16,2022

As retail companies prepare for the long-delayed return to office at corporate headquarters across the country, Walmart Inc. Executive Vice President for Global Governance, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary Rachel Brand says executives need to be supportive of work-life balance — especially for working parents.

After two years of meeting virtually rather than getting on a plane, and realizing work can be done from anywhere, “people’s expectations are changing,” said Brand, the keynote speaker at NRF’s Retail Law Summit in February. Many harried parents and other employees won’t tolerate being in the office just for the sake of being in the office.

Today, Brand runs one of the largest legal departments in corporate America, with a broad portfolio of responsibilities that include not only a team of lawyers around the world but compliance, ethics, corporate security, corporate governance and even an Emergency Operations Center that brought aid to New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina. During her career, Brand has held the No. 3 job at the Department of Justice as associate attorney general, clerked for one Supreme Court justice and helped guide the Senate confirmation of two others.

Brand spoke during a session with NRF Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Stephanie Martz, who is also a mother married to a fellow lawyer and who has held senior positions at the White House, Senate and in the private sector. “I’ve always said we were going to really make a lot of progress in the legal profession in terms of accommodating people’s non-professional lives once we started to look at it not just as a motherhood thing but a fatherhood thing,” Martz said.

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