Just 8% of buyers identify as people of colour

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
12 March 2021

Just 8% of employees working in procurement identify as people of colour, according to a Gartner poll.

Gartner’s Labor Market Survey, involving more than 25,000 global employee respondents across more than 20 functions, found only sales (B2C) had a lower proportion of people of colour, with 7%.

Supply chain/logistics was slightly more diverse, with 14% identifying as people of colour, while communications was the most diverse (44%). The average was 17%.

Kotei Kotey, senior specialist, advisory, in the Gartner finance practice, said: “Much of the focus on improving diversity has been placed at the hiring level and removing unconscious biases there continues to be an important project.

“However, there also needs to be a plan for encouraging these employees to advance through the ranks. One of the best strategies is connecting junior-level employees to senior-level mentors from similar backgrounds, which is why it’s so critical there are clear pathways to advancement for women and people of colour.”

The Hays Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 2020 report found 78% of those working in procurement, when looking for a new role, felt an organisation’s diversity and inclusion policies were important.

Almost two-thirds (63%) said they would only apply to an organisation which had a public commitment to ED&I.

Scott Dance, director of Hays Procurement & Supply Chain, said: “It’s crucial that the procurement profession continues to strive for better when it comes to ED&I, even though many organisations continue to face economic challenges.”

He recommended employers make a commitment to ED&I, promote ED&I initiatives to jobseekers, and tailor flexible working options.

“By working together, employers and employees will help the procurement profession continue to make progress in their ED&I agendas and reap the benefits that this provides,” said Dance.

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