5 Challenges to Overcome
As we’re all aware, supplier diversity is highly relevant in today’s workplace culture. As it has come a long way over the last couple of decades, there is certainly room for improvement. To make greater headway in 2020, it’s important that we first acknowledge five challenges that we will need to overcome:
The Unintentional Human Bias
Because we are only human, each of us has our own personal history and experiences that shape the way we view the world. Each of us has preconceived notions about different types of people without even being aware of it. Our biases are one the diversity’s biggest challenges because our environment is directly affected by our judgments. The only way to sidestep this mishap is by becoming more self-aware and making a conscious effort to be more objective about the companies we do business with.
Determining Diverse Suppliers
There is a distinction between who is an official diverse supplier, and who is not. Not establishing these guidelines can skew your analytics later, if you are not careful. Diverse suppliers must obtain certification.
Diverse suppliers are certified businesses that are 51 percent owned, controlled, and operated, such as:
- Women-owned businesses
- Minority-owned businesses
- Veteran-owned businesses
- LGBT-owned businesses
- Disabled-owned businesse
- Small businesses and those located in a recognized underserved community may also qualify to be certified as a diverse-owned business.
Finding qualified Diverse Suppliers
Fortunately, there are many resources that assist in locating diverse suppliers. Some of these include:
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
- National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
- National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA)
- National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NLCC)
- National Business & Disability Council (NBDC)
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
Through the support of our partner, ConnXus, we can also offer assistance in your diverse supplier search, so let us know how we can help.
Setting Supplier Diversity Program Goals
There is a preconceived notion that setting supplier diversity goals conflicts with cost-reduction goals. However, these two goals can actually support one another. Having a goal to safe money can motivate purchasing teams to work harder to find highly qualified diverse suppliers to optimize the number of bidding opportunities granted to diverse suppliers. This also increases competition and innovation because all suppliers will up their game, knowing they are competing against diverse suppliers who would fulfill company diverse spend goals.
Maintaining Support for Supplier Diversity Programs
A supplier diversity programs success rests primarily on the amount of support it receives from the company’s top leadership, just as diversity and inclusion does. So show your leadership the financial benefits of supplier diversity and build a case for its necessity in building a brand and establishing community engagement. By supporting small businesses, we boost our national economy as a whole.
Supplier diversity is here to stay and should be an essential part of every corporation because we need diversity to thrive. How can we help?