The Economic Empowerment of Supplier Diversity


This blog was posted on behalf of Juliana Ball. She is the Marketing & Communication Manager for Supplier Diversity & Inclusion at Intel and is committed to improving diversity throughout Intel’s supply chain.



By midyear of 2017, Intel spent USD 327 million with diverse-owned businesses around the world. This is a combination of spending with both primary diverse suppliers and diverse subcontractors (tier 2) through our primary non-diverse suppliers. By the end of this year we expect to spend USD 600 million with diverse-owned suppliers and by 2020 we aim to increase that spending to USD 1 billion annually.

At a company like Intel, metrics are critical and this data is important for driving forward the change we want to make, but the real change is in the opportunity and economic empowerment this spending generates.

Studies have shown that a diverse business owner will hire a diverse workforce and spend within a more diverse community—from restaurants to suppliers. Yet, only 1% of the money spent with suppliers by large corporations and governments goes to women-owned businesses (the largest of the diverse categories). The more we source from diverse-owned suppliers, the more money that goes into diverse communities, producing more spending power within them.

That’s why this year we also joined WeConnect International, a global certifying organization for women-owned businesses, and Global Citizen, a social action platform to solve the world’s biggest challenges, and made another commitment. At the Global Citizen Festival preceding the G20 Summit in Germany we announced, alongside IBM and Pfizer, that over the next three years we will source USD 100 million specifically with women-owned businesses.

Impact to Our Own Business

With a clear intention to create a more inclusive supply chain, we are finding many new and existing diverse-owned suppliers who are improving our business. Some are small shops, but several are also multimillion dollar businesses. All of them are winning the business with competitive bids, greater innovation, and agility. They also act as partners, capturing details, getting ahead of potential issues and collaborating on creative solutions that require flexibility and amazing customer service.

All of these economic effects make supplier diversity and inclusion a true win-win. It’s also a method to hold each other accountable for creating a more inclusive business environment. We ask our suppliers to support supplier diversity and our customers ask us to support supplier diversity. Together, we’re making industry-wide, global change to empower previously underrepresented groups in high tech.


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