Supplier diversity is a business strategy that has seen major growth over the past few years. With organizations like the Billion Dollar Roundtable recognizing a record 27 corporations for their spend with minority, women (and now) veteran, disabled, and LGBTQ owned companies, purchases with diverse suppliers will only continue to grow. While supplier diversity may be US focused, we are now seeing an expansion of this strategy to other countries including Canada. According to the National Post, “the (Canadian) government’s funding of diverse suppliers will be part of a new program that supports innovation, reported to total $50-million.”
This new government push may help supplier diversity grab hold in a country that has so far seen a lukewarm response. It is true that many corporations invest in diverse purchases, but unlike America, there is no federal mandate. According to the University of Manitoba, “only 35% of organizations who are recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, actually execute these programs. In other words, although initiatives are being taken to create the foundational policies, there seems to be a missing component.” With a strong government promotion, we could possibly see supplier diversity programs grow.
The thought is that these new programs will coincide with a new sustainability focus that has called for purchases from efficient, and environment friendly products and services. Purchasing from local, diverse, and innovative suppliers providing clean and exciting solutions could play a major role in the countries growth. Research on Supplier Diversity in Canada showed that “only 43% of organizations with diversity and inclusion policies engage in supplier diversity”. But with new policy, this number could increase and should based on an administration that seems to support it.