Media Release: The State of Supplier Diversity Programs in Canada

For Immediate Release

WBE Canada, University of Manitoba and University of Calgary are happy to announce the release of the new report “The State of Supplier Diversity Programs in Canada: The Buyer’s Perspective”.

In Fall 2020, WBE Canada and experts from the Universities of Manitoba and Calgary conducted a national survey on the status of supplier diversity (SD) in Canada. The survey focused on the barriers to SD programs and the facilitators and motivators needed to move SD forward.

Participating organizations reported varying degrees of SD, including those with full or partial programs, those in the initial stages of developing an SD program and those who currently have no formal program. These organizations were asked a series of questions on the primary goals of their SD program, motivators and facilitators, importance of Canada’s certifying councils, barriers and status of internal reporting of diverse spends, including from Tier 2 suppliers.

The results of this survey present a better understanding of where SD fits within the strategies of Canada’s large corporations and how Canada’s public-sector post-pandemic recovery efforts need to include SD as a strategy to ensure continuing and long-term economic growth. Utilizing the data gathered from this research is immensely helpful as WBE Canada continues to develop the tools and resources to help Canada’s private-and public-sector organizations build SD programs, improve their internal reporting and find qualified suppliers needed to expand and diversify their supply chains.

This report follows the release of the first report ‘The State of WBE Certification in Canada: The Suppliers’ Perspective’ which was published in June 2021.

Once again we see that large Canadian businesses and those with direct ties to American companies (as opposed to small firms and organizations without an American connection, including government procurement agencies) are more likely to have complete SD programs.” said Paul Larson, Ph.D., CN Professor of SCM, University of Manitoba

Beyond economic factors, organizations with established diversity programs acknowledge the positive contribution of SD toward an organization’s social identity and corporate image.” said Jack Kulchitsky, Ph.D., Senior Instructor in Marketing, University of Calgary

Yet another proof that there’s still much more work to be done in supplier diversity in Canada. While councils are doing a good work, much more is needed. Supplier diversity could benefit from support of more players like procurement associations, governments, universities and industry associations.” Silvia Pencak, M.A., President & CEO, WBE Canada


Access the report here


About University of Manitoba 

The University of Manitoba is western Canada’s first university, established in 1877. Its campus is situated on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. It is Manitoba’s only research-intensive university, and one of Canada’s top research institutions. The University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students. From 2006-2009, its supply chain management department developed and wrote a new C.P.P. curriculum for the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC). Since then, the C.P.P. has been re-labeled SCMP, and PMAC is now Supply Chain Canada.

About University of Calgary 

Established in 1944 as the Calgary campus of the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary became a separate autonomous university in 1966. Situated near the Bow River on the traditional territories of the people of Treaty 7 region of southern Alberta, the campus hosts 14 faculties, 55 departments, and 85 research institutes and centers. Twelve research centres are hosted within the Haskayne School of Business including the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business, the Hunter Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Canadian Centre for Advanced Supply Chain Management and Logistics.

About WBE Canada

WBE Canada is a Canadian non-profit organization that is opening doors for women-owned businesses to supply chains across North America. It certifies Canadian firms that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women and introduces them to opportunities with corporations. To learn more about how we support women-owned businesses, click here. If you are a mid-size or large company looking to support women-owned businesses through procurement opportunities, we want to hear from you. Click here to learn more about how you can get involved.

Media contact:
Sharon Ferdinands, Manager, Marketing & Communication, WBE Canada,