Goal-Setting: Syska’s Supplier Diversity Program

In our spring issue of Connections, we covered Syska’s efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). In this issue, we focus on a component of these efforts – supplier diversity.

The purpose of a supplier diversity program is to give marginalized vendors, such as firms owned by women, people of color, service-disabled veterans, HUBzone designees, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, an opportunity to participate more extensively in business. Although Syska has a long history of working with and supporting diverse suppliers, we have never instituted a formal program. We’re now rectifying that omission.

In structuring the program, we’re following the advice of DEI consultant Simone Sloan, founder of Your Choice Coach, who recommends starting with an assessment of Syska’s current status, looking at our existing vendor relationships and determining where and how we should forge new ones. As we develop this strategy, we are identifying concrete goals and measuring our progress. These goals will eventually influence each stage of the procurement process.

Such steps are not just about doing the right thing. They also reflect good business practices. To wit, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published DEI guidelines. Simone notes two other notable developments: The SEC has approved NASDAQ’s plan to boost diversity on corporate boards, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has adopted the Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Act and Regulation.

Simone is not surprised by these measures. As she points out, “More and more organizations are recognizing that diversity is closely linked to innovation and profitability.”

Syska believes that the more structured our supplier diversity program, the better our project outcomes will be. That is our ultimate focus. We know we have a way to go, and we’re excited to move forward.

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