Supplier Diversity Canada in an initiative of BC-based Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC). Its goal is to advance business diversity and inclusion in Canada specifically by bringing more women-owned, aboriginal-owned, minority-owned and LGBT-owned businesses into corporate supply chain and government contracts. Our work includes educating procurement professionals on the advantages and tools available to broaden their vendor network to include diversity suppliers, to connect diversity suppliers with procurement opportunities and to support ongoing research and advocacy in this area.
Supplier Diversity is a business practice that encourages the use of historically under-represented businesses in a company’s supply chain, including minority-owned, women-owned, aboriginal-owned, LGBT-owned, veteran-owned vendors.
The list of Fortune 1000 companies with established Supplier Diversity programs is long… and growing. It includes companies such as Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and General Motors with obvious consumer-connection interests but also an immense number of B2B and industrial corporations such as Boeing, EY and IBM.
Common to every firm with a stated Supplier Diversity commitment is the desire to enrich the pool of suppliers and contractors to solidify their own competitiveness and provide operating resilience.
Companies cite several other key reasons why this business practice meets their organizational and business objectives:
As Merck says, ‘Our suppliers should reflect the people we are in business to serve… our customers.’
In the US, the Billion Dollar Roundtable recognizes corporations that have achieved spending of at least $1 billion with diverse suppliers. Wal-Mart, Microsoft, IBM, Ford, GM, Avis-Budget Group Inc, are some of the 18 corporations that have hit this milestone.
A growing number of Canadian companies are championing Supplier Diversity, both for their own interests and as a national imperative to enhance the economic participation of traditionally under-utilized businesses.