Which Supplier Diversity Programs Are Effective?

Determine the best program to help women suppliers by studying its scope of support.

As women entrepreneurs become a greater force within the business world, more companies are sure to create supplier diversity programs. As with anything else in life, however, not all of them will be created equal. Susan Phillips Bari, president of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, offers these tips on identifying an effective program:

  • Does support for supplier diversity come from the very top of the organization? If not, there may not be much oomph behind the effort.
  • Does the program set goals regarding dollar amounts and/or number of businesses served? Does it review these goals annually?
  • Are the procurement goals part of the corporate strategic plan?
  • Is there a clearly stated procedure for helping women get in the door, as well as someone within the company who can direct suppliers to procurement officials and vice versa?
  • Is the company a member of any local, regional or national women's business organizations? Does it participate in Women's Business Enterprise-related events?
  • Does the company actively seek women-owned businesses and create opportunities for networking between its prime contractors and women entrepreneurs?
  • Does the company provide feedback to unsuccessful bidders?