Our Commitment to Women’s Economic Empowerment through a Diverse Supplier Network
By Javette Hines, Director, Supply Chain Development, Inclusion and Sustainability, Enterprise Supply Chain, Citi September 29, 2017 04:00 PM
The value of diversity to our business extends throughout our value chain, from our employees to our clients, our customers and our suppliers. Over the past several years, we’ve achieved significant progress in promoting diversity across our supplier base through initiatives led by Citi’s Supply Chain Development, Inclusion and Sustainability Program. However, we are continually looking for ways to increase diversity among our supplier base across the globe, and to help drive economic empowerment for women through our business activities and operations. Fortunately, Citi has a unique model that has kept supplier diversity and sustainability intrinsically linked for almost a decade. This integrated approach has helped to ensure that awareness, education and training in support of inclusion, human rights, and environmental sustainability remain firmly embedded in all of our sourcing efforts.
It’s well established that empowering women to start and grow businesses leads to job creation, economic development and more sustainable communities. Despite this reality, however, only a small fraction spent by corporations with their suppliers each year currently goes to women-owned businesses. To help address this obvious shortcoming in supply chain management -- especially in developing markets where there is immense untapped potential and opportunity for female run enterprises -- we’ve joined forces with WEConnect International -- a global organization dedicated to the advancement of women-owned businesses and a Citi partner since 2016 -- to procure an additional $100 million from women-owned businesses over the next three years, especially from firms located in developing markets.
At the recent Global Citizens Festival in New York, we were thrilled to join WEConnect on stage alongside three other leading corporations in affirming this pledge. Together with other corporate commitments made over the last 12 months on the Global Citizen stage, this commitment represents a total of $1 billion in spend with women-owned organizations worldwide.
While there remains much to be done in this space, we are encouraged by the dedication and support now being demonstrated for new and different ways to help achieve economic empowerment for women across the globe. I’m very proud of Citi's overarching commitment to women and especially of its consistent support of and engagement with organizations dedicated to empowering and promoting women-owned businesses globally, and am especially proud to help in leading this charge.
*Tagged as: Global