Have you heard of supplier diversity? During the ongoing journey of implementing DEIB at BWBacon, the idea around vendor or supplier diversity comes up time and again. While companies can (and should) focus time, effort, and cash into hiring diverse individuals and building more inclusive internal cultures, the partnerships that exist outside of our organizations also matter.
How Does Vendor Diversity Grow Businesses?
So why should companies prioritize vendor or supplier diversity? Growing in business vernacular, the principle behind supplier diversity aims to create a more equitable, competitive market. For this reason, examining your partner and vendor relationships is walking the walk of valuing diversity. Eventually, the end game of including partnerships and your supply chain in that thought process is that your business can proudly say it works with an intersectional range of diverse vendors. This may be anything from website designers to payroll vendors to legal services, and even food and entertainment vendors.
Diverse Vendors and Suppliers…
Acknowledge shifting demographics, giving companies access to broader consumer markets.
Help form relationships with more innovative, creative, and inclusive business practices that we all can benefit and learn from.
Can introduce new or unexpected products, services, and solutions.
Create varied networks and channels from which to procure goods or services, in turn growing networks for more diverse suppliers and partners.
Drive competition between the company’s existing and potential vendors.
Consider the numbers. If you were to lay out a sheet a paper for every vendor or supplier outside of your organization, side by side, what percentage of those vendors are minority owned? What percentage are owned by women, veterans, or those with disabilities? What percentage are small businesses or locally operated?
From this exercise, we can identify gaps and start to make more intentional choices. Minority, women, and LGBTQ owned businesses contribute 12.5 million jobs to the national economy, according to Dun & Bradstreet. This factor gives us an idea of the economic impact supplier diversity can have. Simply put, choosing minority owned businesses uplifts communities and local economies in a big way.
Ditch Performative Allyship With This List Of Diverse Vendors & Partners
In an effort to increase our support of the community we value so deeply, we’ve implemented a diverse supplier initiative here at BWBacon Group. Through this initiative we are supporting minority and women-owned businesses, and also encourage all of our partners to explore opportunities to support diverse vendors! In partnership with Simone D. Ross Consulting (Canopy Advisory Group), we’ve curated a list of some of the vendors operating in Colorado that we’re proud to partner with.
If you went to your boss with a bonified idea that would increase sales by 10-15%, would they go for it? From research conducted in 2020, The Hackett Group found that businesses that allocated 20% or more of their budget spending to diverse vendors attributed 10%-15% of their annual sales to that supplier diversity. On the other hand, businesses spending less than 20% could tie less than 5% of sales to their supplier diversity initiatives.
This, and countless other examples, support the case for vendor diversity. Being vocal about equity and inclusion means actively looking for places where diversity is not, and then speaking up about your observations and ideas. That is to say, approaching DEIB holistically goes beyond internal hires and representation in leadership, and includes a full, blooming network of diverse consultants, developers, attorneys, entertainers, event partners, venues, and everything in between.
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