More cities and regions than ever now boast supplier diversity councils that are bringing the right stakeholders to the table. Yet there remains a critical need for an evidence-based playbook to guide their collective action. 

Our session was designed to address this gap by presenting the tested Partnering Forward model as a robust framework for regional application. The model engages executives of mid- to large-sized corporations in committing to establishing or expanding business relationships with local minority-owned businesses. It also sets out a reporting framework to track individual and collective progress and enable data-driven decision-making. 

This event offers a valuable opportunity for corporate leaders and advocates to learn from experts in the model and discuss how to leverage it to close racial wealth and business gaps in their local economies.

This webinar takes participants through the key strategies, concepts, and practices necessary to build effective regional supplier diversity ecosystems.

You can watch the webinar here:

Key Points and Takeaways from the Event

  • Changing terminology: The conversation around supplier diversity is evolving, and so is the language we use. Organizations should make an effort to move from the terms “Prime Suppliers” to “Committed Corporations,” “Subcontractors” to “Partners,” and “Supplier Diversity Program” to “Supplier Diversity Strategy.”
  • DBE Requirement Statements: A crucial part of creating a successful supplier diversity strategy is clearly defining what you’re looking for in a DBE partner.
  • The Five Steps of Partnering Forward: These steps provide a roadmap for creating an effective supplier diversity strategy:
    • Empower
    • Identify
    • Match
    • Select
    • Report
  • The importance of an NMSDC certification: This certification is crucial for privately-held companies looking to be considered as minority-owned businesses (MBEs).
  • The goals of the Partnering Forward Program: These include supporting mutual growth, facilitating consistent, long-term collaboration, and creating access to development opportunities.

Meet Our Speakers

Cecelia Bolden

Cecelia Bolden is a veteran supplier diversity advocate and former IT executive at SDI Presence. As a consultant, she leads the development of new, large strategic accounts and overseas clients’ financial stability, growth, vision, and direction. 

Cecilia also contributes to Chicago United, an organization that advances multiracial leadership in corporate governance, and expands the talent pipeline for executive-level management, ultimately growing minority businesses.

Ed Simon

Ed Simon, the Founder and COO of The Diversity Consultants, and former Director of Business Performance & Supplier Diversity at American Water, has a passion for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB).

Starting in 2010, his DEIB journey took off in earnest when he helped to improve overall supplier diversity spend from the mid-20’s to 48% in a California-based regulated water utility. From there, he focused on workforce diversity and was appointed to the board as the inclusion and diversity officer.

Looking Ahead

To join Hire Ground in advancing supplier diversity, be sure to stay tuned for our future webinars and events. Together, we can move the needle forward and build successful supplier diversity ecosystems.