LGBTQEs are well established.
Three-fifths of LGBTQ respondents have been in business for 11 or more years, with another 16 percent at least four years old. These numbers are similar to other major diversity categories and suggest that although LGBTQEs may be just now landing on supplier diversity programs’ radar, these businesses bring years of experience to the table.
LGBTQEs are successful at finding business partners.
Our survey found that 83 percent of LGBTQ respondents are designated as diverse by at least one supplier diversity program. This is generally on par with other major diversity categories (MBEs came in at 79 percent, WBEs at 82 percent) and shows that more opportunities for LGBTQEs are becoming available.
About half seek government contracts.
Just 52 percent of LGBTQ participants actively seek government contracts. This result is lower than other diversity groups—MBEs reported a 67 percent “yes” answer to this question, WBEs were at 61 percent, small businesses were at 71 percent, and veteran-owned businesses came in at a whopping 87 percent.
Are LGBTQEs less likely to go after government contracts because they don’t want the partnerships, or are the opportunities in this space simply not there? This will be a statistic we’ll be keeping a close eye on in coming years.
Just a quarter are successful with supplier diversity portals.
Our report found that 41 percent of all respondents had secured supplier diversity opportunities via online portals. Yet for LGBTQEs, that number was just 24 percent. The disparity isn’t completely surprising—smaller businesses were generally less likely than larger businesses to find success with portals, and LGBTQ businesses tended to be smaller in our survey. However, a familiar question must be asked: Are the portals, the supplier diversity programs, or the LGBTQ suppliers themselves contributing to the low number?
As consumers, supplier diversity matters to LGBTQ entrepreneurs.
We again asked this thought-provoking question on our survey:
As a consumer, does an organization with a supplier diversity program influence whether or not you will buy from them?
For all survey participants, 82 percent reported at least a slight influence, with 36 percent saying the influence was strong. But for LGBTQ respondents, these numbers came in at 90 percent for at least a slight influence and an impressive 52 percent for a strong influence. This stunning result is more evidence that LGBTQEs are positively impacting supplier diversity—and companies need to start to taking notice.
Which statistic in this report surprised you most?