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Economic Empowerment with the Supplier Diversity Program

January 5, 2021

For businesses looking for ways to show their socialresponsibility and creating a positive corporate image, a supplier diversity program brings substantial success and growth.

Supplier Diversity Program& its Benefits

A supplier diversity program is “a proactive business program" that encourages working with businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, and LGBT.

The program provides opportunities to form, renew, and strengthen business relationships, create an agile supply chain, and foster economic empowerment. It also helps in forming effective business relationships and attracting versatile talent to gain a competitive advantage over others.

Finding Diverse Suppliers

Due to its many benefits, organizations like to implement supplier diversity programs. In the U.S., state and federal government agencies require some manufacturers to work with companies that classify themselves as small or minority-owned businesses.Some agencies make it obligatory by contract to hire vendors, contractors (Tier I), and sub-contractors (Tier II) from diverse groups.

However, starting a supplier diversity program can be intimidating. For companies, this means skimming through an exhaustive list of businesses they can partner with. The HR departments in top organizations examine businesses that are classified as small, minority-owned, or veteran businesses.

According to the 2019 State of Supplier Diversity report, 53% of supplier diversity programs work with small businesses. To be qualified as a small or minority-owned business, businesses need to be identified and classified as such by an agency. Moreover, non-profits like WEConnect International certified women-owned businesses. These agencies and nonprofits can provide potential leads that can help manufacturers find and connect with diverse businesses.

The DiversityInc top 11and top 50 companies for supplier diversity includes a list of prestigious companies that outshine others when in embracing diversity. An analysis of their practices shows that they employ a higher percentage of Tier I and Tier II vendors belonging to diverse and disadvantaged groups.

Companies like AT&T, Novartis, PW, Kaiser Permanente, and EY have introduced diversity on various levels. This includes:

  1. Diversifying your workforce—When it comes to hiring candidates for executive positions, these top companies practice diversity. A diverse workforce opens many horizons for a company and makes it easier and natural for the company to choose diverse vendors, suppliers, and partners.
  2. Diversifying your company culture—Another common practice of the leading companies is to create a healthy company culture that educates and inspires its employees and executives to learn and openly discuss topics related to diversity.
  3. Diversifying Partnerships & Suppliers Staffing—A 2017 report on supplier diversity by CVM noted that most companies find and recruit vendors and suppliers through:
  • Certification agencies
  • Third-party providers
  • Google searches
  • Other diverse suppliers.

According to the report, most businesses tend to choose one of the methods to find diverse suppliers. Comparatively, top-tier companies use multiple channels to partner with diverse suppliers. This enhances their chances to connect with more companies, get competitive rates, and find the best services while celebrating diversity on every level.

Final Thoughts…

When it comes to diversifying your workplace and partnering with diverse suppliers, vendors, and businesses, companies can employ all resources at hand. The best way is to hire a company that keeps branding and partnership at the heart of its services.

For any business or organization, it is important to embrace diversity on all levels. Therefore, diversification should be at the core of your company’s branding and marketing. When you establish yourself as a diverse company, it becomes easier to connect with small businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, service-disabled veterans, LGBTQ, and small businesses.

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