What Do Your Vendors Say About You?

Feb 21, 2011

Your organization's commitment to diversity can be impact by the other organization's with which you are affiliated.

There are several annual reports on workplace inclusion that can be used to monitor vendor commitment to diversity. Here are two:

Diversity, Inc. - Top 50 Companies for Diversity

The mission of Diversity, Inc, the leading publication on diversity and business, is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity. Since 2001, Diversity, Inc. has administer the Top 50 lists. Corporations are evaluated on CEO commitment, human capital, corporate and organizational communications, and supplier diversity. In addition to the Top 50 Companies for Divesity, Diversity, Inc., also recognizes Top 10 companies for Blacks; Latinos; Asian Americans; executive women; LGBT employees; people with disabilities; recruitment and retention; supplier diversity; noteworthy companies; global diversity; regional utility companies; and hospital systems.

Human Rights Campaign

HRC, the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community. Since 2002, HRC has published the Corporate Equity Index,  which provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. They also publish "Best Places to Work" and "Buying for Equality."

Some may think that the scale of these organizations may have nothing to do with nonprofits. Inclusive nonprofits can consider this information when selecting insurance carriers, banks and financial services, technology, consultants, where to purchase supplies, and so much more. This information may also be helpful when selecting corporate Board members. Or, dare it be suggested, asking for, and accepting funding from corporate institutions?

For other vendors -- graphics, printing, shipping, etc., -- consider adding diversity criteria to your organization's proposal and evaluation process. Do you support women-, LGBT-, or minority-owned businesses? Do you know if the vendors you hire have EEO policies? How diverse is their staff? Do their online and print materials use language that is inclusive? Do they support multicultural communities? 

Obviously cost needs to be taken in mind when selecting vendors, but it should not be the only criteria. The suppliers you select, particularly those that are not supportive of specific communities, may have a negative impact on your revenue stream.

Minority-owned firms are those where the sole proprietor is African American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaska Native, or, in the case of firms with multiple owners, where 51 percent of the stock interest, claims or rights is held by African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, or American Indians/Alaska Natives.

Tags: African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian, Asian American, bank, bisexual, black, Board, CEO, civil right, communication, communities, consultant, corporate, corporation, diversity, EEO, education, employee, equality, executive, financial, funding, gay, graphics, Hispanic, human capital, inclusion, insurance, LGBT, latino, lesbian, minority, multicultural, nonprofit, Pacific Islander, people with disabilities, printing, recruitment, retention, shipping, staff, supplier, technology, transgender, vendors, women, workplace

Sub Categories

DIVERSITY: Leadership
DIVERSITY: Resources
DIVERSITY: The Big Picture
DIVERSITY: Production
DIVERSITY: Board Leadership
DIVERSITY: Disabled Community
DIVERSITY: African American / Black Community
DIVERSITY: Latino / Hispanic
DIVERSITY: Asian American
DIVERSITY: Administration
DIVERSITY: American Indian
DIVERSITY: Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander
DIVERSITY: Marketing
DIVERSITY: Customer Service
DIVERSITY: Development / Fundraising
DIVERSITY: Education
DIVERSITY: Audience Development