The State of WBE Canada Certification in Canada

Paul D. Larson, Ph.D., CN Professor of SCM, University of Manitoba
Jack D. Kulchitsky, Ph.D., Senior Instructor in Marketing, University of Calgary
Silvia Pencak, M.A., President, WBE Canada

The Status of WBE Certification in Canada

WBE Canada and experts from the Universities of Manitoba and Calgary conducted a national survey on the status of supplier diversity in Canada. This survey, conducted in fall 2020, was designed to provide the data necessary to continue inclusion of underrepresented Canadian businesses, specifically women-owned businesses in large supply chains and to move supplier diversity forward in Canada.

The survey was primarily focused on WBE Canada certified suppliers but was also extended to a larger group consisting of non-certified suppliers. Participants were asked a series of questions including what were the primary motivators for certifying their business, anticipated benefits of certification, their level of expectation once certified, perceived and real barriers faced when working with large corporations and government organizations, and levels of success experienced when responding to opportunities from large buyers.

The results of this survey are immensely helpful in understanding the value and effectiveness of supplier diversity programs and barriers in supply chains for diverse suppliers, revealing opportunities that currently exist in supply chains. These findings will form the framework for supplier diversity programs in the upcoming years. As outlined in the recommendations, WBE Canada will utilize the findings in its advocacy work, development of tools and resources to help Canadian women-owned businesses scale up and succeed strategically as well as inputs for the necessary systemic improvements in corporate and government supply chains.


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Paul D. Larson, Ph.D. is the CN Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Manitoba. Paul is lead author of Supplier Diversity in Canada: Research and analysis of the next step in diversity and inclusion for forward-looking organizations, published in 2016 by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.

Jack D. Kulchitsky, Ph.D. is a Senior Instructor in the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. Jack is the co-researcher on the 2020-21 supplier diversity project, which includes surveys of suppliers and buyers, along with a supplier diversity program content analysis of Canada’s “Best Diversity Employers” in 2020.

Silvia Pencak, M.A. is the President of WBE Canada. Silvia is an innovator driving transformation in supplier diversity in Canada with projects like WBE Canada Toolbox, Supplier Diversity Accelerator, Supplier Diversity Data Services and many others, designed to enable and propel supplier diversity forward in Canadian market.