The Real Impact of Supplier Diversity: How Accenture Continually Invests in the Development of Women-owned Businesses

Accenture believes that inclusive procurement practices create long term value for its clients and communities while helping them to remain agile, disruptive and ahead of the market. At the same time these same practices help suppliers grow their representation and influence in their own markets.

As a founding member of WBE Canada, Accenture’s goal is to create more sustainable supply chains through a mindset of responsible buying both inside and outside the company, while generating long term value for its clients, suppliers and communities. Accenture’s Diverse Supplier Development Program (DSDP) reflects that commitment to develop and expand relationships with diverse businesses including women-owned. DSDP is a formal 12-18 month program that matches Accenture executive mentors with diverse supplier protégé companies to help them grow their businesses. In turn, Accenture and its clients benefit from a vast range of innovative contributions, and its communities are strengthened from the creation of more businesses, jobs and economic growth.

One of the businesses that has participated in Accenture’s DSDP Program and excited to extoll the benefits of being a part of this unique mentoring program is Redwood Classics Apparel. Kathy Cheng, President, admits that it hasn’t always been easy to gain a seat at the table – as a women-owned business and as a minority. But she credits programs like Accenture’s DSDP Program and especially those executives who have given generously of their time for not only impacting her personal development but business growth.

At WBE Canada’s 2020 Annual Conference, we had the opportunity to have both Dora Silva-Bolanos, Senior Manager Supplier Inclusion and Diversity at Accenture and Kathy Cheng, President, Redwood Classics Apparel interviewed by Tony Chapman, host of Chatter that Matters podcast.

It is essential that corporate and government organizations see the incredible opportunities Canada’s diverse businesses including women-owned businesses can offer and commit to fostering their development through mentorship programs like Accenture’s DSDP. Creating more sustainable supply chains through inclusion, diversity and innovation is key to our economic recovery and growth.


Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada) is a Canadian non-profit organization working closely with corporations and governments advocating for inclusion of Canadian Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) in supply chains across Canada and abroad. To ensure diversity in supply chains WBE Canada works closely with its Corporate and Government members to provide necessary training and support to help establish and develop supplier diversity initiatives. Explore our Corporate/Government membership here.

Is your business majority owned, managed and controlled by woman/women? Learn how to certify your business as WBE (Women Business Enterprise).