8 July 2011 | Angeline Albert
Shirley Cooper is championing diversity in the supply chain of European
companies in her new role as executive director for Europe at WEConnect International.
WEConnect is a global not-for-profit organisation that focuses on
creating opportunities for women-owned companies, ethnic minorities and
ex-servicemen. Cooper, who is a former CIPS president, joined the organisation
on 20 June. She was previously procurement and supply chain director at Computacenter.
Cooper’s new remit is educating and supporting corporations in how to
develop diversity programmes by introducing women-owned businesses into their
supply base. She also hopes to facilitate networking opportunities between
buyer and the supplier organisations.
She told SM: “Companies
mustn’t sacrifice innovation and creativity in their supply chain by excluding
the value women-owned businesses can bring. I’m aware of how hard it is for
companies to start engaging with women-owned businesses. When you talk to chief
executives in Europe and ask them how many women-owned businesses are in their
supply chain many haven’t got a clue.”
Cooper will also work to increase the number of businesses WEConnect
engages with. JPMorgan Chase is among the 15 European corporations already
working with WEConnect to develop diversity in its supply base.