It is always such a pleasure each year to introduce DiversityPlus Magazine’s Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity. They are exceptional women in the diversity arena who are recognized for their ongoing efforts and successes in supplier diversity. One of the important aspects of their work is that they focus on diverse suppliers, but in doing so, are also having a positive influence on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and communities. In 2020, the Top 25 Women once again elevated supplier diversity by working to make it the responsibility of everyone in their entire organization and not just sourcing and procurement or category managers. They strive to make everyone aware and knowledgeable of the importance of diverse suppliers to organizational innovation and long-term strategic success.
It took years of relentless communication, but one thing that has become very obvious is the champions of supplier diversity have been successful in garnering the support of senior leaders. The support of the CEO and executive leaders is the backbone of their success. With that support, the Women in Power gained the ability to reach out across their respective organizations to work with decision-makers at all levels in advancing supplier diversity. They work across geographies and across functions, making their approach ideal for a time when organizations are flattening and people network instead of working in siloes.
Each professional named as one of the 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity completed a questionnaire that asked three questions about their biggest accomplishments, the plan they followed to drive supplier diversity program success, and the strategy for getting senior leadership support. From those three questions flowed a wealth of information that made it clear the Women in Power have developed unique approaches that perfectly fit her organization’s needs. One woman chose a strategic focus on category specific outreach events. Another has strived to align the supplier diversity strategy with the business strategies. Many of them developed methods for holding decision-makers accountable and to increase program visibility within the organization and among community members.