WBE Canada (Women Business Enterprises Canada Council), CLGCC and IWCSS together with our regional partners RFAQ, Femmessor and Quebec Veterans Foundation, brought Supplier Diversity Day to Montreal on September 24, 2019. This full day event brought together corporate & government professionals in their efforts to diversify their supply chains as well as facilitate introductions between buyers and diverse suppliers.
The first half of the day was dedicated to corporate buyers as councils facilitated conversation around the business case for supplier diversity, best practices and case studies. It was encouraging to see attendees ask many questions and show interest in learning more about how they can support diverse businesses through their supply chains.
In his remarks, Claude Gagnon, President of BMO, Quebec highlighted how BMO first implemented its supplier diversity program in Canada in 2007 and is committed to building long term relationships with diverse suppliers. BMO’s program works alongside their sourcing team to identify opportunities for diverse suppliers and also expects their suppliers to provide similar opportunities in their supply chains thereby creating more opportunity for smaller suppliers in a variety of sectors. In addition to M. Gagnon, participants heard encouraging and optimistic remarks from Ruth Vachon, President and CEO of RFAQ, Jennifer Cooke, Corporate Lead Women’s Strategy, EDC and Fannie Noel, Director, Corporate Financing, BDC.
Following lunch, attendees were invited to a panel discussion on Supplier Diversity in Canada. Panelists Alison Campbell, Senior Director, Supplier Engagement and Regional Coordination, OSME-SE Public Service and Procurement Canada, Government of Canada; Catherine Grosz, Manager Supplier Diversity & Procurement at BMO; Maryse Benhoff, President BG Communications International Inc. (Certified WBE) and Sylvie Ouellette, President & Co-Founder Versatil (Certified WBE & CGLCC) shared their insights and experiences in supplier diversity with the event attendees.
The remainder of the afternoon session was dedicated to connecting buyers with suppliers through round table conversations. Local suppliers had the opportunity to connect with Air Canada, BDC, BELL, BMO, CAE, Cogeco, Desjardins, EDC, Government of Canada (OSME), Iron Mountain, Lowes Canada (RONA), Staples and TELUS.
Upon conclusion of this event, WBE Canada’s Supplier Advisory Committee hosted WBE Meetup to continue conversations with our local community. Maryse Benhoff and Marte Belisle, both SAC members organized this networking event. Silvia Pencak, President of WBE Canada and Alexandra Ondova, Executive Assistant, WBE Canada were in attendance to connect with suppliers, buyers and local organizations.
Thank you to BDC, EDC, BG Communications and AI Media for your sponsorship and support of this event.
About WBE Canada
Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada) is a Canadian nonprofit organization with a mandate to bridge the gap between Corporate and Government buyers and Women Business Enterprises (WBEs). WBE Canada certifies majority-owned, managed, and controlled women’s businesses and provides a range of programs and services to assist WBEs in better accessing business opportunities with major corporations. This includes training and education, through an annual conference, workshops and webinars; mentoring programs and networking. events with like-minded businesswomen and corporate members. WBE Canada also provides its corporate members with forums, tools and techniques to broaden and strengthen their goals.