ICYMI: Supplier Diversity 101
Supplier diversity is a strategic approach to promoting inclusivity and engaging traditionally marginalized groups in business ecosystems. Diversity Works sees it as a vital tool for organizations seeking to enhance market competitiveness, brand reputation, and resilience in their supply chains. In a recent DEI Leader Network (DLN) Live Event, we invited Diversity Works Managing Partner Elizabeth Curwen and Dr. Leilani Evans, Managing Partner of National Management Solutions, LLC, to share and discuss strategies when considering creating a supplier diversity program. In case you missed it, you can watch the presentation here.
The following key insights emerged from the discussion:
1. Resilience Through Intentional Relationships.
Supplier diversity serves as a catalyst for building resilience within an organization. By forging intentional relationships with a diverse network of suppliers, companies create redundancies that prove invaluable during supply chain disruptions, such as those experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This inclusivity offers a strategic edge in challenging times.
2. Challenging Affinity Bias.
Affinity bias, an innate inclination to favor those who resemble us, can be a significant barrier to supplier diversity. However, Leilani and Elizabeth emphasized the importance of being aware of affinity bias and intentionally developing processes and policies to address it. By broadening the understanding of diversity and encouraging diverse networks, organizations can break free from the limitations of affinity bias.
3. Aligning with Organizational Values.
Supplier diversity programs are most effective when they align with an organization’s vision and values. Such alignment demonstrates a commitment to these values and offers a compelling narrative to potential employees, partners, and customers. Moreover, it can help address the wealth gap by supporting businesses owned by groups historically deprived of opportunities.
These insights underscore the importance of supplier diversity program to broaden a company’s supplier base and as a strategy to foster inclusivity, challenge biases, and align with your organization’s values.
At Diversity Works, we’re dedicated to partnering with organizations to cultivate DEI strategies that drive growth, innovation, and positive change. Our experts bring decades of experience and knowledge to the table, ensuring that your DEI initiatives are effective and impactful.
DEI Leader Network
Every third Thursday, we host an event for this community of DEI Practitioners. Please join next month’s live event, on Women on Corporate Boards November 9, 2023 at 1 PM ET. You can register for the live event here.
About Diversity Works
Diversity Works helps organizations understand and leverage the power of workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion.