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Taking Stock: Assessing Companies' Commitments to DEI and Supplier Diversity

Story Jun 18, 2023 12:00:00 AM jamar-jones 5 min read

Why Diverse Newsrooms Matter | News Media Alliance

In 2020, many companies made public promises to invest $50 billion in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, along with increasing their spending with diverse suppliers. These commitments were hailed as important steps towards creating a more equitable and inclusive business landscape. However, it is crucial to evaluate the progress made, examine the impact of these initiatives, and explore how companies can take further action to drive meaningful change. In this article, we will delve into the current state of DEI and supplier diversity efforts, highlighting successes, challenges, and potential strategies for creating lasting impact.

The Importance of Prioritizing DEI:

Companies that have genuinely prioritized DEI initiatives have reaped numerous benefits. By diversifying their workforce and leadership, organizations tap into a broader range of perspectives and experiences, fostering innovation and adaptability. Furthermore, diverse companies are often more appealing to top talent, leading to increased recruitment success and higher retention rates. Additionally, diverse suppliers can bring fresh ideas and access to untapped markets, expanding companies' reach and profitability.

Assessing Progress and Impact:To evaluate progress accurately, it is vital to examine specific companies that made these commitments. While it is challenging to provide an exhaustive list, let's highlight a few notable examples:

  1. Company X: Company X allocated significant resources to DEI efforts, investing in comprehensive training programs, mentorship initiatives, and employee resource groups. Their supplier diversity spend increased by 30% in the first year, forging relationships with a more diverse range of suppliers and boosting local economies.
  2. Company Y: Company Y demonstrated commitment by establishing a DEI Council, composed of senior leaders from various backgrounds. The CEO regularly communicates with the DEI leaders, offering support and leveraging their insights to effect change. This collaboration has resulted in a substantial increase in the representation of underrepresented groups in leadership positions.

Challenges and Room for Improvement:Despite these successes, challenges persist in achieving the desired impact. Some common hurdles include:

  1. Inadequate financial backing: While some companies have provided financial resources to support DEI efforts, others have fallen short in allocating sufficient funds. Financial backing is crucial for implementing comprehensive strategies, training programs, and outreach initiatives.
  2. Limited supplier diversity progress: Increasing spend with diverse suppliers remains a challenge for several companies. It requires proactive efforts to identify, engage, and develop relationships with diverse suppliers, and some organizations may need to revisit their procurement processes to ensure equitable opportunities.

Taking Action for Lasting Impact:To create lasting impact and fulfill the promises made, companies can consider the following strategies:

  1. Holistic approach: DEI efforts should encompass every aspect of an organization, from recruitment and retention to leadership development and community engagement. A comprehensive approach ensures that diversity and inclusion are integrated into the company's DNA.
  2. Collaboration and partnerships: Engaging with external organizations, such as industry associations and nonprofits, can provide valuable guidance and support in implementing effective DEI and supplier diversity strategies. Collaborative efforts can lead to shared resources, best practices, and collective impact.
  3. Accountability and transparency: Companies need to set measurable goals, regularly track progress, and communicate transparently about their DEI initiatives. Publishing diversity reports, sharing success stories, and acknowledging challenges openly can foster trust and encourage continuous improvement.


While progress has been made, it is clear that there is still work to be done to fully realize the $50 billion commitment to DEI and supplier diversity. By prioritizing financial backing, resources, and effective communication, companies can sustain momentum and drive meaningful change. Investing in DEI is not only a moral imperative but also a profitable endeavor, fostering innovation, expanding market opportunities, and attracting top talent. It is through collective efforts

diversity — News Leaders Association


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