engage magazine issue 003 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'07 - Page 20

20 SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES Transport for London Supplier Diversity fully inclusive Faiza Rasheed, Head of TfL’s Group Procurement, explains how her vision of an all inclusive Diverse Supplier definition reaches far beyond the traditional groups. T he Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone has the aspiration of creating London as an exemplar world city. TfL is committed to bring this vision to life through its innovative Supplier Diversity programme, launched in June 2005. TfL is responsible for operating the capital’s transport network, which includes the Underground, taxis, buses and roads within Greater London. With a spend of £5 billion per annum on this, TfL has a tremendous opportunity to use procurement as a vehicle for change to deliver positive socio–economic outcomes. Rasheed says “Diverse suppliers stimulate innovation and are able to provide more cost–effective solutions. This in turn drives social and economic growth”. The first step in the development of TfL’s Supplier Diversity programme was to create the definitions of Diverse Suppliers. “To start with we wanted absolute clarity on what is meant by ‘Diverse Suppliers’” says Rasheed. “So we created our own definition. This includes SMEs, BAMEs, women– owned and disabled–owned businesses amongst others”. The definitions were used as the foundation of the programme and also to measure performance. Having these definitions, enabled a consistent approach to supplier diversity within TfL and also helped the large contractors to understand what TfL means by diverse suppliers. These sub-groups are as follows: a) b) c) d) Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) businesses Suppliers from other under– represented or protected groups Suppliers demonstrating a diverse workforce composition Challenges TfL faced the challenge of producing a set of definitions which didn’t exclude anyone. Traditionally, each of the sub–groups (a to d above) is considered separately in business. “This creates some challenges. There is clearly overlap between the sub–groups a, b & c. For example, a BAME business has a high probability of being a small business too. We recognised this and want to capture the sub–group separately. Also, by only considering each The definitions Based on the research conducted and Rasheed’s vision for an all inclusive definition, a diverse supplier definition consisting of four sub–groups was developed.