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Implement a supplier diversity program through programs like the National Minority Supplier Development Council


Segment    Family    Class




SDG Alignment

10. Reduce inequality within and among countries workforce

SDG Target


Target Description

By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic of other status. 

Level of Effort

Level of Effort Scale


1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.

2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).

3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)

Category Assessment

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•Identify stakeholders that will benefit from this program, including employees, actors within your value chain, the community, and society. 

•Explore current diversity programs at your company, for recruitment or awareness training diversity programs. 

•Leverage technology to analyze current spend compared to diverse supplier spend.  

•Garner leadership buy-in to support a supplier diversity program. If current diversity programs exist pitch a supplier diversity program as an extension those existing initiatives. 

Opportunity Identification 

Business: Open the door to new suppliers, fostering innovation and lowering costs due to widening the supplier pool and increasing competition. Improve your organization’s brand value, creating a broader customer base and stable operating environment.

Sustainability: Promote the well-being of underrepresented groups that are disproportionately affected by climate change by engaging in long-term economic growth opportunities. Advance social sustainability efforts by creating a more inclusive value chain. 

Strategy Build & Execution

•Define what diversity means in your supplier diversity program based on your initial stakeholder assessment.

•Commonly tacked diversity categories include woman, veteran, LGBTQ, minority, or disability owned businesses. 

•Have a dedicated team head up the supplier diversity program to entrench its function within procurement operations and avoid tokenism. 

•Collaborate with companies of similar market size through industry groups or LinkedIn communities to set reasonable goals and expectations. 

•Establish quantitative and qualitative goals for the program. For example, increasing diversity spend by certain dollar amount or increasing supplier resiliency.  Use certifying bodies such as WBE/WBENC, CCAB, the National Minority Supplier Development Council or CAMSC to find diverse suppliers.

•Attending events through these organizations and your local chamber of commerce will also reveal diverse suppliers. 

•Reveal your Supplier Diversity program internally and externally to create organizational alignment and demonstrate commitment throughout your value chain. 

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

•Include supplier diversity questions in your RFPs. For example, ask vendors to provide relevant supplier diversity certifications or if they have a formal diversity and inclusion policy.  

•Identify barriers to small business in your procurement process, such as data quality or information security requirements and collaborate to find a solution. 

Supplier Performance & Management

•Mentor diverse suppliers to better respond to RFPs correctly and compete with larger suppliers. 

•Track the performance of your supplier diversity program by evaluating total economic impact. To do this measure an increase in revenue, employment, income, and tax dollars generated as a result of your supplier diversity program. 

•Run mentoring and training programs and events to support the growth of minority owned businesses. For example, workshops, conferences, and lectures can be tools to develop or find potential diverse suppliers. 

•Be aware of the impact your business has and aim to be a good business partner. Small suppliers are often paid late, which can be catastrophic for their business and wider community.  

•Explain the value of becoming a certified diverse supplier through an accredited organization to potential diverse suppliers.  

•Gain visibility and aim for a fully diverse value chain by helping your suppliers develop their own supplier diversity program.  

Resource Links

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