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Canadian Women-Owned Business Evaluate Supplier Diversity"

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 a series of 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 immensely helpful in understanding the value and effectiveness of supplier diversity programs and barriers in supply chains for diverse suppliers, revealing opportunities that currently exist in supply chains. These findings will form the framework for supplier diversity programs in the upcoming years. As outlined in the 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 strategically as well as inputs for the necessary systemic 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. 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” said Paul D. Larson, Ph.D.,CN Professor of SCM, University of Manitoba.

“Awareness of the social and economic benefits accruing from SD programs remains key to reducing barriers to supply chain opportunities for small diverse organizations” said Jack D. Kulchitsky, Ph.D.,University of Calgary.

“Businesses and individuals around the globe are facing tremendous challenges and disruption. Yet in times like these leaders rise up, innovations are born and communities are transformed,” said Silvia Pencak, President of WBE Canada. “WBE Canada works closely with buyers and suppliers and we look forward to hearing your feedback, insights and recommendations. My hope is that this national research will inspire improved policies, more inclusive supply chains and ultimately economic growth in Canada.”