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Walmart's historic female manager retires after nearly half a century in Missouri

A casual stroll through the store reveals that Jane Marshall is more than just an employee. She has proven herself to be an exceptional mentor.

Walmart's historic female manager retires after nearly half a century in Missouri
Cover Image Source: 41 KSHB Kansas City

For a long time, women have been breaking barriers and shattering long-standing stereotypes in the workplace. One woman with 48 years of service at Walmart is bidding farewell to her career. However, Jane Marshall is not your ordinary employee; she holds the distinction of being Walmart's first female manager in the entire country, having dedicated her whole life to working at the Missouri branch. Speaking to KSHB 41 Kansas City, she said, "It's just been, it's been a good career." Although widely recognized for her association with Walmart, a casual stroll through the store reveals that she is more than just an employee. Marshall has proven herself to be an exceptional mentor, a warm and approachable presence for customers and fellow staff members, and a committed and hardworking individual.


 
 
 
 
 
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Marshall spoke about her extensively long tenure, saying, "I had many people tell who had been in retail, that said, 'At 25 years you will be burned out. I got to 25 years and I didn't feel that way. I thought, 'I like what I'm doing, I enjoy this. I like the customers, I like the people that I work with.'" In 1975, at 23, Marshall embarked on her Walmart journey while still completing her education. In need of financial support, she joined the Walmart team and began working in the apparel department. Just four years later, she received a significant opportunity when the Walton family, owners of the store, invited her to take on the manager role at the Walmart location in Warsaw, Missouri. After her successful tenure there, she managed the Clinton store in 1986, a position she embraced wholeheartedly and never looked back. Marshall's dedication and commitment to Walmart remained unwavering throughout her career, leaving an indelible mark as a valued and influential company member.



 

Revealing her mantra for success, she said, "What has kept me in this business is that I truly believe that this has been my purpose in life." Throughout her lengthy tenure at Walmart, Marshall found that her associates and customers were pivotal in her decision to stay committed to the company. Despite facing the challenges that come with being a woman in a position of power, she expressed that she never felt discriminated against by her colleagues. Working in an environment predominantly comprised of men, with all her supervisors being male, Marshall recalled being treated with respect throughout her career. However, she acknowledged encountering occasional resistance from customers who insisted on speaking with the store manager, not recognizing her authority. In these situations, she gracefully asserted herself, proudly responding, "Well, this is what you got," effectively dispelling doubts about her capabilities and proving her worth as a competent store manager.

Marshall humbly expressed that she feels honored rather than proud to have had the opportunity to work for such an extended period. Recognizing the challenges that come with the job, she candidly stated, "Is it an easy job? Imma tell you no, no." However, she firmly believes that anything truly valuable in life requires hard work and dedication.

The wisdom and insightful quips that Jane Marshall shared with her associates over the years will be greatly missed. One of her colleagues expressed that her departure would leave a significant void in the workplace. However, even as she hangs up her iconic blue vest, Marshall doesn't rule out the possibility of returning in some capacity. Playfully, she mentioned, "I'll probably be knocking on the door here saying, 'Hey, do you need a cashier? I can work any hours.'" It's evident that her attachment to the store runs deep. Although retiring on Saturday, July 29, at the age of 71, Marshall remains emotionally connected to the place she dedicated so many years to managing. However, she is ready to pass the baton to the next generation.

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