Merck's Susanna Webber Leads Charge for Social Impact and Health Equity Through Supplier Diversity

Susanna Webber, the Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at Merck, attributes the success of the company's Supplier Diversity Program to a comprehensive approach and adherence to best practices. She implements several key strategies, such as establishing clear goals and metrics that align with the organization's objectives, engaging diverse suppliers through targeted outreach and networking events, and offering development opportunities to these suppliers. Internally, she actively promotes a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion by providing education and training to employees and stakeholders and collaborating with business leaders.

Susanna's focus on building robust and collaborative partnerships stems from her recognition of the impact that suppliers can have on social determinants of health. She believes that by considering the effects suppliers have on these factors, it is possible to drive health equity and deliver value to communities. To gain deeper insights into this connection, she commissioned an independent study conducted by Proximo, a diverse-owned business specializing in data analytics and business intelligence. The study revealed a positive correlation between Merck's expenditures with ethnic, minority-owned, and small business suppliers, and positive outcomes in diverse communities and households. Susanna expresses her appreciation for the exceptional and visionary leadership within the company, which enables her to continuously drive improvement.

Favorite Quote: Inclusivity means not ‘just we’re allowed to be there,’ but we are valued. I’ve always said: smart teams will do amazing things, but truly diverse teams will do impossible things. - Claudia Brind-Woody