Top 10: Supplier Diversity Leaders

Supply Chain Digital takes a look at the top 10 companies which are dedicated to promoting supplier diversity throughout their vast supply chains

Companies leading the charge when it comes to supplier diversity are those with policies aimed at supporting businesses from diverse backgrounds.

A diverse supplier is, according to Harvard Business Review, a firm that is majority owned and operated by an individual or group that is part of a traditionally underrepresented or underserved demographic. 

These include women, ethnic minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities.

By working alongside these suppliers, major organisations can promote economic inclusion and, ultimately, help level the playing field. 

Here, Supply Chain Digital takes a look at the top 10 supplier diversity leaders. 

Johnson & Johnson is a leader in the field of supplier diversity. Picture: Johnson & Johnson

10. Johnson & Johnson

Revenue: US$85.2bn
Employees: 132,000
CEO: Joaquin Duato
Founded: 1886

Johnson & Johnson is recognised across the globe as a leading multinational company in the field of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, providing a range of healthcare products.

The company acknowledges the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion within its organisation and throughout its supply chain – and prioritises promoting these values. 

Believing supplier diversity is essential to economic growth, J&J’s own supplier diversity programme seeks to work with businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans.

9. Toyota

Revenue: US$307.5bn
Employees: 375,000
CEO: Kōji Satō
Founded: 1937

Effective supply chain management is at the very core of Toyota’s operations strategy

Its ‘supplier partnership philosophy’ lists the following as being essential to its business relationships: 

  • Mutual understanding and trust
  • Interlocking structures
  • Control systems
  • Compatible capabilities
  • Information sharing
  • Joint improvement activities

Toyota endeavours to work as closely as possible with suppliers during the manufacturing process. Before conducting business transactions, it presents contracts that clearly spell out legal compliance, respect for human rights and environmental considerations.

8. Coca-Cola

Revenue: US$45.8bn 
Employees: 79,000
CEO: James Quincey
Founded: 1886

Coca-Cola considers supplier diversity to be an integral component of its diversity management strategy.

Its belief is that including customers and consumers in its procurement strategy will help develop stronger local communities, while creating long-term growth and a competitive advantage for the Coca‑Cola system.

Currently, the organisation’s major target is to reach a US$1bn spend with diverse suppliers. 

In North America, the Coca‑Cola Company supported the launch of Rise Up Crowdfunding, an equity crowdfunding portal that empowers members of the public to invest in women- and minority-owned small companies and startups looking to raise capital. 

7. EY

Revenue: $49.4bn
Employees: 395,000
CEO: Carmine Di Sibio
Founded: 1989

Providing a comprehensive range of audit, tax and advisory services, EY is one of the world’s Big Four professional services firms.

EY is one of the world’s Big Four professional services firms

The organisation works tirelessly to promote DE&I both internally as well as externally through its procurement practices and supplier relationships. 

EY has long understood that ensuring a workplace is diverse and inclusive often results in the creation of a more innovative and productive environment. 

Its own supplier diversity programme focuses on giving opportunities to underrepresented groups such as ethnic minorities, women and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

6. PepsiCo

Revenue: US$92bn
Employees: 318,000
CEO: Ramon Laguarta
Founded: 1965

Building a more positive value chain is seen by PepsiCo as an integral part of realising its pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) ambitions, which includes increasing inclusiveness in its supply chain.

To support this goal, the firm looks to make purchases from a supplier base whose diversity is representative of its employees, consumers, retail customers and communities.

The year 2022 marked the 40th anniversary of PepsiCo’s supplier diversity programme and coincided with an impressive milestone: almost US$30bn spent over the preceding four decades across its entire value chain. 

What’s more, PepsiCo’s diverse supplier spend also surpassed US$1bn in the US. 

5. AT&T

Revenue: $122.4bn
Employees: 149,900
CEO: John Stankey
Founded: 1885

One of AT&T’s top priorities is to foster an inclusive culture consisting of different backgrounds, perspectives and voices.

The telco powerhouse is constantly seeking new and innovative ways to deliver more value to its customers while strengthening the communities in which it does business. 

AT&T has received numerous awards recognising its pedigree in the area of supplier diversity, including in 2023 when it was ranked as the number one corporation by DiversityInc. 

John Stankey, CEO at AT&T. Picture: LinkedIn

“Through our supplier diversity programme, we aim to make meaningful contributions to the economic growth of diverse companies and communities,” explains John Stankey, CEO at AT&T. 

“We value the innovation and fresh ideas that diverse businesses bring to the table and we’re committed to providing resources that can help drive their development and success.”

4. Accenture 

Revenue: US$64.1bn
Employees: 733,000
CEO: Julie Sweet
Founded: 1989

Professional services giant Accenture demonstrates its commitment to diversity through an outstanding supplier diversity programme, which stands out thanks to its focus on inclusion and innovation.

The initiative gives diverse suppliers access to mentorship, networking and training opportunities to help them grow their businesses and thrive in the marketplace.

Accenture also works closely with these suppliers to identify innovative solutions that can enhance its business operations and deliver better value to its clients.

These efforts have earned Accenture widespread recognition in the form of awards from organisation’s including the National Minority Supplier Development Council and Women's Business Enterprise National Council.

3. Verizon

Revenue: $134bn
Employees: 105,000
CEO: Hans Vestberg
Founded: 2000

Supplier DE&I is perceived as a ‘business imperative’ at Verizon. 

In 2023 alone, the telecommunications multinational spent US$6.1bn on goods and services – both directly and indirectly – from diverse suppliers, including minority-, women-, veteran-, service-disabled veteran-, LGBT-, and disability-owned businesses. Over the last 10 years, this figure exceeds US$54bn. 

Verizon is strongly committed to mentoring, promoting and engaging with diverse businesses within its supply chain. It believes these firms have the potential to create the greatest economic impact, while offering innovative, high-quality and cost-effective solutions for Verizon to better serve customers.

2. General Motors

Revenue: $171.8bn
Employees: 163,000
CEO: Mary Barra
Founded: 1908

General Motors (GM) perceives supplier diversity as more than a key performance metric, but rather an economic engine driving empowerment, equity and inclusion throughout the supply chain and business community. 

The organisation has been committed to supplier diversity since 1968, when it became the first automotive OEM to establish a formal programme in this area. This unique network consists of professionals that drive economic parity, social relevance and business value, with the hope of impacting industries on an international level. 

GM currently works with more than 300 certified diverse suppliers and small businesses within the US and Canada. 

Jeffrey Morrison, VP Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, says: “I believe our company is stronger when we are shaped by diverse backgrounds; with that in mind, my team and I are passionate about building relationships with diverse suppliers.”

Walmart is a leader when it comes to supplier diversity. Picture: Walmart

1. Walmart

Revenue: US$611bn
Employees: 2,100,000
CEO: Doug McMillon
Founded: 1962

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and occupier of the top spot in the Fortune 500, is continuing to build an inclusive supply chain that is reflective of the communities it serves. 

This is coupled with a belief that the business should offer products that meet the needs of every one of its millions of customers and members. 

In FY23 alone, Walmart’s spend with diverse-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses exceeded $13bn in the US.

Doug McMillon, President and CEO at Walmart, says: “We are uniquely positioned to work with a diverse range of suppliers and entrepreneurs to offer customers and members a broad assortment of relevant products that not only delivers on value and quality, but also helps to promote growth and elevate small and medium-sized businesses.”

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