WBE Canada Hosts Its First Virtual Corporate Members Forum

Toronto September 30, 2020

“We’re at a point in time right now where there’s never been such a perfect storm of opportunity between supply chain and supplier diversity.” ~ Jamie Crump, President, The Richwell Group

On September 23, 2020 WBE Canada hosted its first Corporate Members Forum bringing together more than 87% of our Corporate Member organizations. This half-day virtual workshop was designed to move the supplier diversity programs of our corporate members to the next level through learning, experience sharing and conversations.

Corporate Members Forum was facilitated by Jamie Crump, President of The Richwell Group and author of “Backstage Pass: Pulling the Curtain Back on the Business of Supplier Diversity”. Jamie’s wealth of experience and knowledge in strategic sourcing and supplier diversity were catalysts for thought-provoking conversations amongst those participating.

2020, while challenging all of us, has caused us to view supplier diversity through a different lens, presenting opportunities for growth, be it COVID-19, which put everyone’s supply chains to the test; civil unrest, the Black Lives Matter movement, to name a few. We’re witnessing corporations reviewing their supplier diversity programs, companies wanting to initiate supplier diversity programs and some even revamping or changing their existing programs. WBE Canada’s Corporate Members Forum could not have been at a more perfect time. We witnessed some crucial conversations regarding the state of supplier diversity in North America, barriers to implementing supplier diversity programs, evaluation and monitoring of supplier diversity programs, opportunities and strategies.

WBE Canada’s Corporate Member organizations were also able to engage in peer-to-peer conversations on topics like “The Data Analytics Conundrum” facilitated by Kiruba Sankar, RBC, “The Deep Dive into Supply Chain” facilitated by Ashley Fruck-Siomos, TD Bank Group and “Keeping your Budget in Tough Economic Times” facilitated by Jamie Crump, The Richwell Group.

There were numerous takeaways from all three of these sessions, such as:

  • The importance of C-Suite support in not just implementation but the overall performance of the supplier diversity program
  • The rising need for everyone in the organization to have tools and resources to learn more about their own supplier diversity program, to promote supplier diversity and to educate any diverse businesses they come in contact with
  • The role of categorization and segmentation in a supply chain, not only with regards to industries but also diversity, and how it affects your overall program
  • The importance of transparency in supply chains
  • Best practices to help in maintaining supplier diversity budgets during tough times
  • The importance of data and utilizing it when reviewing the performance of supplier diversity programs, and more.

Remember, when it comes to supplier diversity programs, what matters most are the results and the opportunities it creates for diverse businesses. It is so much more than just ‘the right thing to do’!

WBE Canada is leading the transformation of supply chains across Canada thanks to their commitment to not only supporting Canadian women-owned businesses, but also to the development and improvement of corporate and government supplier diversity programs.

In addition to the Corporate Members Forum, WBE Canada recently launched its Supplier Diversity Accelerator program to provide customized consulting support for its Corporate Member organizations with the goal of expediting implementation and transformation of supplier diversity initiatives. Provided in partnership with The Richwell Group, this initiative is being applauded by both sides of the council’s community, women-owned enterprises (WBEs) and corporate and government organizations, with the ultimate goal of creating more and better opportunities for Canadian women-owned businesses in supply chains across Canada and beyond.

“I am often being asked what helps WBE Canada to chart its action in the midst of the uncertainty we all face these days,” said Silvia Pencak, President of WBE Canada. “I must say that what we do really well is listen. We pay attention to the needs of our community and discuss challenges and obstacles with our stakeholders to ensure that proposed solutions are the right fit in helping us develop, scale up and support Canadian women-owned businesses and increase their competitiveness in domestic as well as global markets. If our community wins, we will win too.”

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 how you can get involved.

Media inquiries:
Sharon Ferdinands, Marketing Manager, WBE Canada – marketing@wbecanada.ca

Corporate Members Forum is part of WBE Canada’s 2020 Annual Conference. Thank you to our 2020 Conference sponsors and partners for making this event possible!

2020 WBE Conference Sponsors