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42 SUPPLIER DIVERSITY: EUROPE Raising Awareness After many years of persuading human resources (HR) directors to view the area of diversity as a “business and not HR–owned” issue, it is very refreshing to see the activity currently taking place around the area of supplier diversity. A good indication of this has been the growth of Supplier Diversity Europe (formerly the European Supplier Diversity Business Forum), whose 17–strong membership list boasts some impressive brands ranging from Adecco, Goldman Sachs International, and IBM to Pfizer and Weil Gotshal and Manges The taskforce is facilitated by the Migration Policy Group (MPG), a Brussels–based “think and do” tank focusing on diversity and anti discrimination. MPG has some excellent networks with the European Commission and other agencies across Europe and is using these relationships to raise awareness and facilitate exchanges across all sectors of society. Supplier Diversity Europe’s mission is to ensure that under–represented businesses have the opportunity to compete for the supply of goods and services on the same level as other suppliers. It is important to note that this is not about members automatically offering supplier contracts to minority businesses; it is about raising awareness of all suppliers in the marketplace and facilitating greater opportunities. Participants meet three or four times a year to share information and best practice, and to work on specific strands of activities which relate to the key aims of the forum. Namely: • To create internal supplier diversity programmes • To build relationships with diverse suppliers • To inform and work with key audiences Building an internal supplier programme Members have developed a toolkit which outlines the key component parts of building a supplier programme. This includes for example: internal briefing papers; presentations on the business case for supplier diversity; supplier questionnaires from companies; and guidance on training for buying teams. In addition, the associates have increased their own knowledge of the European countries where business is being conducted and have developed a compelling business case containing hard data for an effective supplier diversity programme. Having built these foundations, members are now focusing on their own priorities and, critically, are beginning to maximise the network by exchanging best (and worst!) experiences and practices that they have developed. MPG also ensures that those involved are kept abreast of the most recent changes to EU legislation and data developments to ensure the business case remains up–to–date and compelling. engage ISSUE TWO 2006