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TrailBlazers: How Top Business Leaders are Accelerating Results through Inclusion and Diversity by Lenora Billings-Harris, Redia Anderson

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Chapter 15. Supplier Diversity

A Strategic Procurement Choice

Diversity and inclusion doesn't end in the workplace. It extends and expands into regions and communities and geographies that stretch far beyond an organization's human capital. How a business manages their influence and external footprint can have a great and lasting impact throughout many other businesses and organizations. A business has a responsibility not only to its customers, but also its community, shareholders, and employees. One enlightened way organizations demonstrate direct influence and impact is through their choice of suppliers. Although supplier diversity has been a more recent component of the diversity and inclusion strategy for many organizations (last 10 years), it is fast becoming a major focus within the United States and globally. Trailblazers see supplier diversity as a win-win-win for all stakeholders. Less forward-thinking businesses only see it as a compliance-based action when conducting business with the government.

As the current economy is now more widely recognized to be a global one, companies no longer look at supplier diversity as a hindrance to their global aspirations and goals. These companies are discovering that supplier diversity efforts resonate on a U.S. level, even as they operate their business on a global platform. Some businesses connect their supplier diversity with their sustainability efforts, which is a real plus as organizations look for ways to support communities, ...

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