Top 25 Women in
Power Impacting Diversity
Embed Diversity

Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity Embed Diversity
Over the last year, the leadership of women has strengthened Diversity & Inclusion as a core value for their organizations, nationally and globally. They succeed by overcoming numerous challenges that would deter others.

One of the favorite times of year for DiversityPlus magazine is when the independent editorial board announces the names of the Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity. The women are leaders in developing diverse supply chains, and in doing so, advance Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) as a core organizational value that leads to positive impacts on talent management processes, and on stakeholder and marketplace perspectives. As the diversity leaders reiterate many times, D&I benefits everyone because it promotes a more just society.

One of the important advances noted this year in the strategies designed to advance supplier diversity is the globalization of D&I principles. As businesses continue to expand international operations, either physically through remote operations or via the internet, the link between business success and supplier diversity is made even stronger. The Top 25 Women in Power work for organizations at different stages of supplier diversity initiative development, but their efforts have one thing in common—a passion for creating equal opportunities. They have analyzed the status of supplier diversity in their organizations, built business cases to gain top–down support, and developed a set of strategies to pursue measurable progress. For many of these outstanding leaders, the days of just talking about supplier diversity are over. They insist on action, progress and results.

In prior years, the Women in Power have focused on gaining executive support for supplier diversity, educating department heads, and identifying potential diverse suppliers. Now that most organizations recognize the competitive advantages a diverse supply chain conveys, the Top 25 Women in Power have stepped up their efforts to embed D&I as a core organizational value impacting the success of supplier diversity. To do so, the change leaders identified the specific challenges impeding progress and developed strategies to overcome the hurdles.

The challenges they overcame are significant. For example, one hurdle was convincing department heads and procurement to break up large contracts into smaller units so that more diverse suppliers qualify. Another challenge was identifying structural impediments to developing a diverse supply chain and then convincing senior leaders to approve system and process changes. The women have dispelled myths about diverse suppliers, gained the commitment of leaders throughout the organization, worked with top management to set diversity goals and measurements, and aligned supplier diversity goals and strategies with organizational goals and strategies.

At the same time the Top 25 Women in Power are developing diverse supply chains, they are also advancing D&I throughout their organizations. The female leaders influence Human Resources, procurement, executive decisions, and marketing efforts. Relationship building remains a top strategy, but there is another major development this year. Many of the Top 25 Women in Power are reaching out globally to advance supplier diversity, working with international managers to establish D&I as a core organizational principle that guides procurement decisions no matter where they are made. Their approaches are mindful of the different unique leadership styles of women in that their strategies are built on creating trust, respect, goodwill and collaborative teams.

Keeping supplier diversity successful and relevant requires ongoing effort to accommodate changing clients and market needs. The Top 25 Women in Power have moved the supplier diversity initiatives beyond compliance to proactively helping diverse suppliers with readiness, creating a value proposition. These efforts are found in a growing number of industries, despite significant challenges in many of them in terms of finding diverse suppliers with the capabilities to manage large contracts. They include infrastructure engineering and construction, and energy. Across industries the women leaders are persistently advancing D&I, building successful diverse supply chains, and setting leadership standards.

The bios of the Top 25 Women in Power offer a glimpse into their innovative efforts and will hopefully spark even more new ideas among readers. The women will gladly provide more information to interested readers. DiversityPlus magazine encourages active discussion among diversity professionals because communication is key to success. Seize this moment as an opportunity to connect with those who have found that no hurdle to diversity is too high to remove.