How GSK works with diverse suppliers

11 November 2019

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is incorporating supplier diversity into its sourcing process to boost innovation and competition while enhancing its reputation.

GSK’s efforts to integrate supplier diversity were highlighted in a report by the 30% Club, a group of CEOs committed to better gender balance within businesses, and consultancy PwC. 

According to the report, GSK believes working with diverse suppliers boosts competition, innovation and market growth. 

The firm has hired an experienced head of supplier diversity and developed a team of advocates within the business to grow relationships with diverse suppliers.

The firm has also incorporated supplier development programmes to ensure suppliers are able to grow and build their own capabilities. The initiative currently supports ethnic minorities, women, LGBT+, veteran and disability-owned businesses, as well as small businesses. 

GSK is developing KPIs that specifically focus on areas such as job creation and revenue generation within its small and diverse suppliers. 

The report highlighted GSK’s work with ethnic minority-owned supplier BAP Pharma, which it started working with in 2012. The contract was initially worth up tp £5m but is now worth over £30m. 

“BAP has become the UK’s leading supplier of comparators because of the opportunity provided by GSK,” the 30% Club said. 

Within the report, the 30% Club called on businesses to address the potential “missing millions” of gender-related insights and opportunities which could drive better outcomes for both women and men. 

It urged businesses to seek commercial benefits by taking a “more systematic and enterprise-wide approach to gender”, far beyond the traditional focus within HR. 

The 30% Club believes there could be greater improvement through increased diversity in supply chains. It would allow businesses to broaden opportunities, capitalise on underutilised sources of goods, services and expertise, and ultimately lead to innovation, it said. 

“Companies can boost diversity and inclusion in their supply chain through procurement policies, tender requirements and supporting enterprises set up by members of under-represented communities,” it said.

Brenda Trenowden, global co-chair of the 30% Club and partner at PwC, said: “To keep driving progress, it is time for the 30% Club to extend its influence beyond representation and pay, and work with businesses to help them address the commercial benefits of gender diversity. 

“Since its inception the 30% Club has called for more diverse thinking in business because it makes good business sense. Our report shares the commercial imperative for putting a gender lens on all business activities and includes thought-provoking examples of the kinds of opportunities companies may have. Those who are slow to adopt this approach in the current climate of purpose-led organisations risk being left behind.”

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