Bringing significant and measurable change in the Supplier Inclusion, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) space is not easy, because it means overcoming entrenched perspectives and attitudes in order to change behaviors. Yet, there are diversity leaders who are doing just that – changing perspectives to create a more inclusive world by working internally in their organizations, and also externally in their communities of operation. DiversityPlus Magazine is pleased to turn the spotlight on some of these leaders, by introducing the 2022 Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity who are making an enormous difference in advancing supplier diversity and DEI. Without women like these professionals, the great progress already made would not have been possible, and the possibility of an inclusive world would not look so bright.
It seems each year there is a common theme. The social unrest of 2020 that continues to this day became a pivotal event that inspired the addition of “equity” to Diversity & Inclusion, and led to diversity leaders thinking of broader goals. Supplier diversity programs and workforce diversity strategies became sources of leverage for the greater good. The common theme expressed by diversity leaders is the need to address systemic racism in communities, and to ensure their organizations are approaching DEI with the goal of fighting injustice internally and externally. They have built world-class supplier diversity programs and work closely with talent management leaders to assist with eliminating bias in the workplace.
These women diversity leaders have developed a wide range of approaches to achieve procurement and DEI goals, with a focus on triggering sustainable change in the future. They developed tools such as a 3-year strategy roadmap, and events such as a supplier diversity virtual summit and executive learning series. The focus is on effective, inclusive communication with all employees, setting clear and measurable goals, establishing reporting mechanisms for accountability, and becoming role models for values expression. Some women were in the process of building a supplier diversity program from the ground up, while others were either expanding or restructuring programs to make more progress. Supplier diversity leaders also integrate the supplier diversity program into the overall business strategy for a multiplier effect.
All Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity conveyed the message that successful diversity leaders must lean into goals and gain a deep understanding of the challenges and systemic barriers that women, minorities, and women- and minority-owned businesses face daily - within the context of the organization and the communities of operation. Without that understanding, it is difficult to develop a customized organizational strategy that produces significant results. The fact that these women have succeeded is a testament to the knowledge and expertise gained through their careers.
The other commonality among the Women in Power is their passion for economic empowerment and equal opportunities for all. They are visionaries who can imagine a world in which systemic racism does not exist. Not everyone is capable of such a vision given the turmoil in society, but they are not deterred. In fact, their vision of an inclusive world inspires them to embed supplier diversity and DEI in organizational cultures and approach DEI efforts as a means of accelerating and lifting people. It is all about helping people succeed. They want to change society for the better, and everyone should support their work in their own way.
There is an impressive variety of industries represented this year, which is another demonstration of the success of the Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity. They include eye care, technology products, and services, health and diet, consulting, nonprofit, life insurance, rail transport, consumer goods, banking, real estate services, retail pharmacy, airlines, energy, hospitals and clinics, fast food, electronics, office supplies, industrial manufacturing, hospitality, pulp and paper, and supply chain solutions. Just reading the industries represented clearly shows how successful the women are as diversity leaders. No organization or industry remains untouched by their inspiration and work.
Diversity Plus Magazine invites everyone to read the bios from the perspective of, “How can I improve the supplier diversity and DEI strategy in my organization?” Each organization has specific and unique needs, and the Women in Power prove those needs can be met through strategic planning. They always remain inspired and dedicated, because they envision a world where inclusion is second nature for all organizations. We wish them continued success far into the future.