10 January 2019

2018: A Breakout Year for Diversity and Inclusion

If there was one trending HR topic that eclipsed all others in 2018, it was diversity and inclusion.

Defining cultural moments, from the #TimesUp movement to the #MeToo rally cry, brought female and minority perspectives to the forefront. TIME Magazine named ‘The Silence Breakers’ — those who blew the whistle on systemic sexual assault in the workplace — their Person of the Year.

Corporate America tapped into the national conversation and took action. Universities, professional sports teams and companies like Coca-Cola, Nike and UBER all created new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer roles, and they chose women and minority leaders to fill the positions. These c-suite appointments signal that leaders are ready to prioritize the cultivation of workforces that represent the diverse perspectives of their employees and their customers.

That level of investment is an important step in changing the face of America’s workforce, especially at the executive level. But it shouldn’t stop inside the organization. Supporting diversity and inclusion at the supplier level matters now more than ever.

Supplier diversity programs create an inclusive supply chain of diverse vendors, such as women-owned, minority-owned and veteran-owned businesses. But in this day and age, supplier diversity shouldn’t just be a quota-driven, check-the-box mandate: It’s been proven as a savvy strategy to drive business performance. According to a 2015 study,* “on average, supplier diversity programs add $3.6 million to the bottom line for every $1 million in procurement operational costs.”

Employing small businesses isn’t just a socially responsible move: it invites more competitive pricing from incumbent and new vendors, spurs innovation and agility, and brings new viewpoints to bear when solving business problems. That’s why companies like AT&T, American Airlines, General Motors and Walmart have committed to allocating up to 15 percent of their procurement dollars to women and minority-owned partners. As more companies follow suit, organizational culture will continue to become more diverse and inclusive — not just from the top-down, but from the outside-in.

Write On Target, Inc. is a women-owned small business and full-service HR communications agency with a 20-year track record of delivering above-average ROI for our clients. Whether it’s end-to-end benefits enrollment communications, creative wellness programs, compliance documents or Total Rewards campaigns, we make it simple and seamless for you. And by choosing to work with Write On Target, or any diverse supplier, you’re making a difference.

*The Hackett Group, 2015