Most women-owned businesses (32%) are working with 1-3 #supplierdiversity programs, and an impressive 18% are partnering with 10 or more companies.
Networking, RFPs are the most common ways WBEs find partners
We asked respondents to identify the top three ways they find supplier diversity partners. Interestingly, WBEs tended to buck the trends we were seeing with other diversity groups. Networking topped the list at 75 percent, as opposed to 73 percent for non-WBEs. That difference isn’t significant, but the disparity with RFPs (requests for proposals) was more pronounced: 49 percent of WBEs selected that option, compared with 42 percent for other businesses. After the top two, WBEs next chose registration sites (41 percent, compared with 50 percent of non-WBEs), emails (40 percent compared with 45 percent), and cold calls (39 percent, higher than the 32 percent for other businesses).
WBEs cross diversity categories
Diverse suppliers identifying with more than one category are not unusual, and women-owned businesses are no exception. Our report discovered that 58 percent of WBE respondents hold multiple diversity certifications, and 21 percent hold three or more. Looking at the other categories, 37 percent of WBEs also identify as minority-owned businesses, and 34 percent as small businesses.
As consumers, WBEs are strong believers in supplier diversity
We asked this provocative question of our survey participants:
As a consumer, does an organization with a supplier diversity program influence whether or not you will buy from them?
For WBE respondents, 31 percent claimed that a supplier diversity program’s existence would have a strong influence on their buying decisions, and another 42 percent cited a slight influence. These numbers were consistent with non-WBE responses and cemented a basic tenet in our industry: supplier diversity matters to consumers, to entrepreneurs, and to the community.
Which of these findings was the most surprising to you?