To affect organizational change, leaders at every level must demonstrate through their actions and words, their commitment to the success of a policy change or program.  When employees understand why they are expected to enforce a vision or initiative, they are more willing to ensure the success of the program. CEOs and other executive leadership should lead the charge in endorsing and signing of on supplier diversity goals and metrics.

Key steps that top management can take to implement an effective diverse supplier engagement strategy include:

  • Define formal metrics that enable companies to measure the effectiveness of supplier diversity initiatives
  • Ensure that local and diverse supplier engagement is incorporated into business processes for each functional unit
  • Allocate a budget that ensures a commitment to diverse supplier engagement
  • Provide clear direction or strategy on the intent of the supplier diversity program

Internal and External Communication

It is important that an organization send clear messages on the WHY, HOW, and WHAT of supplier diversity engagement. Doing this will support engagement and accountability. Sharing the results on a regular basis whether monthly or quarterly or annually can help to foster friendly competition on goal achievement and build individual and group commitment to supporting the program and the diverse suppliers who are engaged.

There are many stakeholders within your organization who can benefit from understanding more about the collection, analysis, and reporting of the data behind supplier diversity. They include the following:

1.   Executive Leadership

2.   Human Resources

3.   Legal Department

4.   Procurement

5.   Supplier Diversity

6.   Executive Leadership

7.   Human Resources

8.   Legal Department

9.   Procurement

10.  Supplier Diversity

11.  Employees

12.  Clients

13.  Community At Large

14.  Local, State, and Federal government entities

15.  Media


A successful supplier diversity program will require champions throughout the organization with direct and deliberate engagement at the individual, group, and enterprise levels.  Champions will include:

  • Top management
  • Supplier Diversity Council that includes representatives from each functional area
  • Strategic Sourcing

In addition to champions, the organization sends a clear message of commitment when there is a designated person charged with supplier diversity with direct access to senior management.


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