by Oliver Pickup
Originally published: July 25, 2017
Diversity has become a business buzzword in recent times, with numerous C-suite executives viewing it as simply a tick-box exercise, alas. And yet a growing welter of evidence suggests the manifold advantages of utilising diverse supply chains – engaging suppliers from ethnic, racial and gender minorities – are too significant to be ignored.
In the UK there is much work to be done in this area, however, and in truth, when it comes to encouraging such a progressive approach, most of the world is some way behind pioneers in the United States. Indeed, the very idea of supplier diversity was triggered by the epochal American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
It is little coincidence that on March 5, 1969, less than a year after the Civil Rights Act, popularly known as the Fair Housing Act, President Richard Nixon, who had taken office only six weeks earlier, signed the game-changing Executive Order 11458 that stipulated government agencies and their contractors should partner up with minority-owned companies.