The Evolution of Diversity — a Tale of Change

ThinkstockPhotos-469735239It is said that change is the natural evolution to progress and also the one constant in business. These words have never rang more true than in supplier diversity. As talent management experts, we understand that diversity by definition provides more ideas and perspectives to achieve better business solutions. But are your diversity initiatives evolving to keep up with the demands of a global marketplace?

The evolution of supplier diversity in the US began in the 1960s as a result of the Civil Rights movement and was a socially motivated initiative resulting in the creation of the Small Business Administration. Today, economic factors have become increasingly more important to companies in their supply chain management efforts. Supplier diversity is both an important risk management tool, as well as a competitive differentiator. Corporate diversity programs around the globe have started to expand their reach to include all segments of under-represented populations (i.e., minorities, women, LGBT, veterans, disabled, etc.). As a result, diversity has become a strategic business imperative – evolving from a socially motivated initiative to a profit motivated initiative, driven by innovation and collaboration.

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To capitalize on the value diversity brings, it is important to align your diversity strategy to your business objectives. Whether you have a new program or established process, the future focus on new markets and changing trends require advanced insights and skills to navigate effectively across cultural terrains.  When you think about the intersection of diversity and supply chain management, organizations must continue to reinvent themselves and establish a framework connecting diversity practices to business results.

As a final thought, all indicators show diversity continues to be agrowing initiative within the corporate community and your ability to drive inclusion within your talent supply chain opens up more opportunities, creating a sustainable advantage. Supplier diversity needs to be part of your overarching strategy if your objectives are to realize its value and be successful in a dynamic global economy.


Kelly’s Supplier Diversity Efforts

15-0245_Supplier_Diversity_Infographic_landscapeMORE: Enhancing workforce diversity


Brenda Marshall

Brenda Marshall
Brenda Marshall is senior director of global diversity solutions, Kelly Services, Inc.

Brenda Marshall

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