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Supplier Diversity

Diversity & Inclusion is wider than the workplace. The most successful businesses know that by creating diversity in their supply chains as well, they can unlock innovation and agility, and improve their ethical credentials.

Procurement plays a key role in such diversification, creating the economic and moral value that will result from the opportunities a more flexible, more creative supply base brings.

This Knowledge area provides resources from CIPS in collaboration with two organisations that promote supplier diversity in different forms: EMBs and women-owned businesses.



Supplier Diversity: Unlocking Innovation, Driving Competitiveness and Enhancing Reputation

We prefer variety in our pastimes, biodiversity in our ecosystems and diversified holdings in our portfolios. Yet we unconsciously resist diversity in our social and professional communities. This attitude has become a liability in today’s marketplace, costing companies talent, growth and innovative solutions.

From the workforce to the supply chain, diversity and inclusion of people and ideas are critical drivers for further growth in any organisation and no longer the ‘box-ticking’ exercises of the past. Forward-thinking organisations are truly embracing and committing to diversity as an integral part of improving profitability and profits, and outperforming the competition.


Unlocking Innovation through Diversity MSDUK Supplier Diversity

In a digital world driven by relentless technological advancement, innovation has to take centre stage in every corporate strategy if organisations are not to be left behind. There is strong evidence that innovation comes mostly from small businesses and individuals, which makes incorporating such entities within the supply chain a critical factor for organisations seeking to bring new solutions, breakthrough technology and disruptive businesses to market. Diversity within supply chains can not only bring new ideas and solutions to an organisation, but also boost competitiveness and market growth. But it goes further than these commercial benefits to encompass social value; the ability to reduce socio-economic inequality and create stronger, more stable communities. With many global business leaders finally waking up to the huge potential in supplier diversity, businesses that understand how to use this to their advantage will stand to gain a competitive advantage and genuinely be able to make a positive contribution to a fairer society.

In times when global brands are sourcing goods and services from across the world, consolidating the supplier base becomes strategic, creating economies of scales and reducing administrative burden. However, it also reduces the chances of accessing the best suppliers and most innovative solutions. True industry leaders recognise the urgent need to expand their global sourcing efforts to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse customer base and to capitalise on innovative local talent identified through inclusive sourcing strategies.

Jointly presented by MSDUK, the UK’s leading supplier diversity advocacy network, and CIPS, this publication provides procurement leaders and professionals with an overview of the business case for an inclusive and diverse supply chain. It includes contributions from senior supply chain experts and companies with world-class supplier diversity programmes, and provides real-life examples and best practices to embed supplier diversity beyond procurement. It is an essential roadmap for any organisation looking to establish a world-class supplier diversity programme that brings innovation into the business, makes supply chains more competitive and flexible, and delivers socio-economic value while enhancing reputation.

By downloading this report you will learn more about:

  • What supplier diversity is?
  • What value does diverse supply bring?
  • Why is supplier diversity important to business?
  • Why is supplier diversity important to CPOs?
  • Why is supplier diversity still a challenge?
  • What can be done to make it happen?
  • What makes supplier diversity work?
  • Practical case studies from three organisations 


CIPS members can access the full report by signing in below.

Not a CIPS member? You can request a copy of the full report here.



Welcome to the Supplier Diversity Podcast series.


Denis Ford

Click the link to listen to the podcast with Denis Ford


WEConnect International

WEConnect International

CIPS are delighted to be working with WEConnect International whose agenda is to ‘Connect Women's Enterprises with Market Opportunity Around the World.’




To find out more about WEConnect International in Europe watch this introductory video and check out upcoming events!