As part of 2019 International Women’s Day celebrations, WBE Canada will feature four women who are strong supporters of Canadian women-owned businesses. Each of these four women made impact on the supplier diversity in Canadian landscape and significantly contributed to success of Canadian women-owned businesses.
Meet our first Supplier Diversity Champion – Catherine Grosz
Catherine Grosz is a recipient of the prestigious 2018 WBE Canada Supplier Diversity Leader of the Year Award. In her role as Supplier Diversity Manager at BMO, she is a passionate advocate for Canadian supplier councils and promoter of diverse suppliers, setting a strong example for other procurement leaders across Canada.
WBE Canada: How did you become involved with WBE Canada and/or supporting women through supply chain?
Catherine Grosz: BMO is one of the original supporters and sponsors of WBE Canada. We were instrumental in helping WBE Canada set up in Canada. In 2014 I was asked to run with BMO’s Supplier Diversity program. It was at this time I became a member of the Board of Directors at WBE Canada. In 2016 I was appointed Chair of the Board of Directors at WBE Canada.
WBE Canada: In your opinion, why is supplier diversity important in Canada?
Catherine Grosz: At BMO, our mission is to enable innovation and competition throughout our supply chain, with a commitment to building relationships with diverse suppliers and providing them with equal opportunity to compete for our business across the communities in which we do business. In Canada, Supplier Diversity programs allow Corporates to identify suppliers, support growth in our communities, and partner with suppliers who would historically have been at a disadvantage to earn our business through our regular supply chain. Without Supplier Diversity in Canada we all lose the opportunity to innovate toward success.
WBE Canada: Share your favourite story or achievement you personally experienced or witnessed in the supplier diversity space.
Catherine Grosz: For me personally, I have seen much success through my venture with Supplier Diversity. When I watch small businesses grow into medium and large business through our support and mentorship, which is what makes me so proud to do the work I do. I am very proud of BMO for the support they provide and embracing Supplier Diversity throughout Canada.
WBE Canada: Supplier diversity is still fairly unknown in Canada. What is your recommendation to other leaders who want to learn more or support women through their organization’s procurement?
Catherine Grosz: Understand the landscape of Supplier Diversity. Identify the opportunities and ask if it makes sense for your business. If it does, then embrace supplier diversity into your overall diversity programs. Make it a part of your culture. If embraced properly, you should see revenue growth within your supply chain. Supplier Diversity is NOT a charity, it is business and it is your business opportunity toward growth and supports your bottom line.
WBE Canada: What women inspire you and why?
Catherine Grosz: The women I admire the most are ones who are entrepreneurs, and who put themselves out there and risk their reputations. I recognize that it takes courage, hard work, sacrifice and long days to be your own boss.
WBE Canada: What message would you like to share with Canadian women-owned businesses?
Catherine Grosz: Without women owned businesses we wouldn’t have the equality and competition in the market place that we do now. You should take the leap to follow your dreams. Reach out to other women entrepreneurs. Share your ideas. Get involved. Learn from each other and support one another.
Meet another Supplier Diversity Champion: Barbara Orser
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