What is Supplier Diversity?

If someone came up to you and asked you, “What is supplier diversity?” – What would you say? Your answer might be different based on your industry, job role, or even experience. In fact, supplier diversity often means something different for every company.

But for the purpose of today, let’s look at supplier diversity around this definition: supplier diversity is a proactive approach of sourcing products and services from the following business categories:

  • Minority-owned
  • Woman-owned
  • Disabled-owned
  • Previously-owned
  • Etc.

So why should companies care about supplier diversity?

Key triggers to implement a supplier diversity program include when companies are:

  • Implementing a corporate strategy to create a supplier diversity program that is tied to a wider CSR initiative
  • Adhering to internal compliance and governance issues that are driving change across the organization
  • Advancing your supplier risk program to include diverse suppliers
  • Striving to “do business better”

Mireia Brancos, Managing Director of Iasta, was honored as one of the top female leaders in the supply chain earlier this year. She noted that supplier diversity is one of the top challenges where procurement helps bring value to the organization by:

  • Finding creative ways to approach and fund initiatives that will have a positive impact on the organization
  • Protecting the company from risk
  • Doing it in a way that brings integrity, accountability and transparency to the organization

”I believe that revenues, profits, and cost savings can co-exist in a corporate environment where positive social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency thrive,” Mireia said. “I hope that in the future, it will be standard practice to consider corporate responsibility when making supply chain decisions.”

So, how can you create a program that will have a strong impact on your organization? Stay tuned for my next blog post that will cover best practices for implementing a supplier diversity program.

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