“To really build in supplier diversity, you have to hit all levels within an organization.” – Cecelia Bolden

Cecelia Bolden is an IT executive, business strategist, client relationship expert, and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion advocate with over 34 years of experience in the information systems industry. She serves as the Chief Development and Diversity Officer of SDI Presence, an IT consultancy and managed services provider that leverages its strong team presence to advance its clients to a secure digital enterprise. In her role, Cecilia leads the development of new, large strategic accounts for SDI Presence. She oversees the organization’s financial stability, growth, vision, and direction while working to implement a business strategy that foregrounds DE&I efforts. She worked for Accenture and Oracle prior to joining SDI Presence and holds an Executive MBA from the University of Notre Dame – Mendoza College of Business.

Cecilia joins us today to discuss cultivating an ecosystem of diverse suppliers. She describes her professional journey in consulting and her role and responsibilities as SDI Presence’s Chief Development & Diversity Officer. She reveals the deficiencies in IT that she sees as an African American woman. She outlines how SDI Presence empowers diverse suppliers and how they work with organizations like Chicago United to build a supplier diversity ecosystem in Chicago. Cecilia also highlights how it’s possible to turn business competitors into collaborators and partners and underscores how the integration of commitment, education, and corporate America can create a thriving ecosystem of diverse suppliers.

“To really build in supplier diversity, you have to hit all levels within an organization.” – Cecelia Bolden

This week on Breaking Barriers:

  • Why Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion is all about intentionality and focus
  • Cecelia’s professional journey in consulting and her career at SDI Presence
  • How her work in designing and implementing information systems has informed her leadership in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, and supplier diversity
  • Chicago United: its creation and mission
  • Chicago United’s “Five Forward” program and how it builds supplier diversity
  • The role of mentorship and apprenticeship programs in cultivating a supplier diversity ecosystem
  • The factors that encourage an ecosystem of diverse suppliers to flourish in the Chicago area
  • SDI Presence’s “Three Cs” ethos
  • Collaboration over competition and growth versus fixed mindset in business
  • Enabling diverse suppliers to grow

Connect with Cecelia Bolden:

This podcast is brought to you by Hire Ground

Hire Ground is a technology company whose mission is to bridge the wealth gap through access to procurement opportunities. Hire Ground is making the enterprise ecosystem more viable, profitable, and competitive by clearing the path for minority-led, women-led, LGBT-led, and veteran-led small businesses to contribute to the global economy as suppliers to enterprise organizations.

For more information on getting started, please visit us @ hireground.io today!

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