engage magazine issue 004 \'07 - Page 25

DIVERSE SUPPLY CHAIN 25 Levelling the Playing Field Across European business leaders have started to realise what their American counterparts have known for quite some time – supplier diversity is not a PR gesture, it’s a strong business asset. By Maurice Mcleod Europe upplier Diversity Europe (SDE) was set up to promote the value of having a diverse supply chain to some of the continent’s largest companies. The project had ten founding multi-national members. These were: Citigroup, Credit S Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Spring Group plc and the Law Offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Membership now stands at 19 companies. Liz Holford, SDE Supplier Relations Manager said, “The issue of supplier diversity differs from company to company and country to country, but one thing that is constant is that having suppliers from as wide a range of backgrounds as possible allows companies to provide better services for an increasingly diverse marketplace.” “Our members are involved because they can see that creating a level playing field in their supply chains will allow them to tap into a fuller range of businesses.” SDE was born out of a Migration Policy Group forum. MPG is concerned with equality, antidiscrimination and protecting rights for those moving across Europe’s borders. Ms Butler, who came to Europe from the US, believes that Europe can take advantage of the lessons that American firms have learnt over the last three decades. ISSUE FOUR 2007 engage | uk