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Supplier diversity moves up the corporate agenda

Supplier diversity moves up the corporate agenda

North AmericaResearchTop Stories

Supplier diversity is a priority for 70% of organisations around the world, according to a survey conducted by JAGGAER and TealBook this year. However, most organisations have not started, or have only just started, on their journey towards greater supplier diversity and inclusiveness.

The main obstacles hindering progress are difficulty identifying suppliers that are owned or managed by women and minority-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) that also meet procurement criteria and a lack of data and insights into supplier diversity. The survey uncovered wide divergences on the issue between North America and Europe.

More than half (53%) of North American survey respondents stated that supplier diversity is a ‘high priority,’ but this fell to just 17% among European organisations.

The survey suggests that Black Lives Matter movement and calls for diversity have had a strong influence in North America, where 68% stated that they agreed or strongly agreed with the proposition that this heightened internal pressure to boost supplier diversity initiatives.

“Our work with customers around the world has revealed a growing awareness of the positive business benefits of diversifying the supply base to include more MWBEs and this is borne out by the survey,” said Jim Bureau, CEO, JAGGAER.

In North America, reputational impact is seen as one of the two biggest benefits by 66% of respondents, whereas 55% of Europeans cited supplier innovation. Many respondents also mentioned improved internal culture and greater competition within the supply base.

While the majority of organisations regard supplier diversity as a priority, they also face serious challenges. A third of survey respondents stated that one of the two biggest obstacles to progress is ‘difficulty identifying diverse suppliers that also meet procurement criteria’ while a further 27% identified a similar challenge, namely, ‘lack of supplier diversity data and insights.’ A further 17% replied that they felt unable to verify supplier diversity claims. More than 11% stated that they simply ‘don’t know where to start.’ European companies wishing to increase supplier diversity are also challenged to identify MWBE suppliers in tier 2 and beyond.

“Small and diverse businesses are the pipeline for innovation and have increasingly become a board level ESG requirement,” said Stephany Lapierre, TealBook CEO. “Until recently, the complexities of these requirements, along with the time-consuming and cumbersome disparate supplier updates, have made it incredibly challenging to capture and access these businesses. That’s now possible with the combined powers of TealBook and JAGGAER, which removes these barriers and integrates supplier diversity data within the sourcing process, reporting and tracking supplier diversity spend with ease and accuracy.”

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