2021 Top 25 Diversity Change Leaders Continue Progress in Difficult Times

José Silva Develops Pillars of Diverse Supplier Development at Abbott

As Director, Americas Procurement at Abbott, José Silva leads the Global Supplier Diversity and Sustainability program. After assuming this role in 2019, Jose first met with a group of supplier diversity practitioners from Fortune 500 companies to brainstorm best practices, build supplier capacity and strengthen the Abbott network. To drive measurable progress, he established minority, women-owned, LGBTQ, and veteran-owned business goals by each division, vertical, and various subcategories. The targets extend beyond federal government compliance and support Abbott’s 2030 Sustainability Plan.

José created the Eight Pillars of Diverse Supplier Development to capacity build minority and women-owned businesses. The model is now socialized at the executive level and is adopted within Procurement. He currently focuses on three pillars: 1) make the diversity program a company-wide program, 2) explain the importance for the company and clearly delineate the social and financial impact of strengthening our program, and 3) provide technical assistance and mentorship to diverse suppliers. Abbott reported $2.3 billion in spend with small and diverse suppliers in 2020 which was a 23 percent increase compared to 2019.

  • Favorite Quote: “Diversity is about empowering and lifting people up. It’s about being a good neighbor. It’s about making a difference.”