Survey evaluates supplier diversity in Canada

TORONTO — WBE Canada and experts from the Universities of Manitoba and Calgary conducted a national survey on the status of supplier diversity in Canada. This survey, conducted in fall 2020, was designed to provide the data necessary to continue inclusion of underrepresented Canadian businesses, specifically women-owned businesses in large supply chains and to move supplier diversity forward in Canada.

The survey was primarily focused on WBE Canada certified suppliers but was also extended to a larger group consisting of non-certified suppliers. Participants were asked questions including what were the primary motivators for certifying their business, anticipated benefits of certification, their level of expectation once certified, perceived and real barriers faced when working with large corporations and government organizations, and levels of success experienced when responding to opportunities from large buyers.

The results of this survey are help to understand the value and effectiveness of supplier diversity programs and barriers in supply chains for diverse suppliers, revealing opportunities that exist. As outlined in its recommendations, WBE Canada will utilize the findings in its advocacy work, development of tools and resources to help Canadian women-owned businesses scale up and succeed as well as inputs for improvements in corporate and government supply chains.

“The pandemic has been especially hard on small firms in the service sector, including many businesses owned by women,” Paul Larson, PhD, CN professor of supply chain management at the University of Manitoba. “With the support of Canadian corporations and government agencies, supplier diversity programs can help such businesses survive the current disaster – and envision a future of prosperity.”

Click here to download the report.