The NGLCC (National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) SDI (Supplier Diversity Initiative) certifies LGBTBEs (LGBT [lesbian gay bisexual transgender]-owned Business Enterprises), providing a network of opportunities for both the LGBT suppliers seeking opportunities within the corporate world and the corporations seeking a greater scope of creativity and innovation for their procurement options. Diversity is not about showcasing the things that make us different; we’re all different in one way or another. Diversity is about highlighting what makes us each unique—that “spark” that sets us each apart … our brand, so to speak. Once highlighted and embraced, our uniqueness empowers us, becoming a source of pride. We can then relate to others with confidence, finding and making the most of the commonalities that unite us, and transcending the judgments that separate us. This is inclusion, and it’s something to celebrate with one another, in every community, throughout the world—and in business.
Empowered diversity and inclusion foster innovation, and innovation is what makes good businesses great.
So yes, Supplier Diversity is about corporate responsibility—and social/community responsibility—and it’s gratifying and meaningful to be part of that. But Supplier Diversity is also a wise business decision. It simply makes good business sense to engage suppliers that consistently exhibit imagination and invention in their services and products. People who believe in what they do—and who take pride in the way that they do what they do because they are comfortable with who they are—are generally the most effective people to work with.
Supplier Diversity is likely a step toward a better world. In the meantime, it is certainly a step toward better, more creative, and more innovative business. Inclusiveness, invention, imagination, and integrity ensure a win-win for everyone—in every industry of the global marketplace we share.