When thinking about things that could make the world a better place, it’s rare — though maybe not entirely unheard of — to have procurement be one of the first things that comes to mind. And it’s almost a guarantee that when one things of inclusion, supply-chain logistics is not something that comes up in casual conversation.
However, when looking at the big picture ideas that help push broad-based change on an industry-wide scale, there is perhaps no more important aspect than Supplier diversity. And there certainly is one that’s more overlooked.
A diverse and inclusive workplace isn’t simply about hiring qualified candidates from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life, and it’s definitely not about checking boxes to make sure you meet an arbitrary quorum of different voices in your office. It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels empowered to speak their mind and be themselves while all working towards the same goal.
That’s something that isn’t just reflected in the products you make or the services you provide, but in those whom you look to for help in carrying out those goals. By going out of your way to include as wide a range of potential partners in your procurement strategy as possible, you’re making a concerted effort to not only improve the prospects of your own company but the larger industry and community as well.
Doing so improves the economic stability of the communities that support diverse businesses, and helps broaden the horizons for the future of a more-sustainable construction industry. Equally important is the competition broader procurement strategies help generate: when the criteria for competitions is expanded, niches can be filled in ways that benefit everyone. Supplier diversity can also help broaden your base of potential customers, as more and more consumers (including individuals, other businesses and, especially, governmental organizations) have become increasingly focused on making a deliberate effort to expand their portfolio of purchasing options.
And the benefits of supplier diversity aren’t just tangential ones that affect the market at large while bringing your business along for the ride. A commitment to empowering diverse corners of the industry is literally putting your money where your mouth is, and in doing so, can make recruiting a more diverse workforce easier. An established track record of ethical, community-empowering behavior can provide a massive leg-up when looking for the next generation of talent to help build your company’s tomorrow today.