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Supplier Diversity Blog by supplier.io

Which Industries Are Best at Supplier Diversity?


Determining which industries are best at supplier diversity is a challenge as no standard metrics or criteria exist to quantify success by industry. So we turned to the metrics we do have: awards and recognition from third-party certification bodies and qualitative examples of successful partnerships with minority suppliers. Using those data, we found four industries that lead the way in supplier diversity.


The technology and telecommunications industry is also well-represented on the Billion Dollar Roundtable with seven corporations reaching the billion dollar minority spend milestone. The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) have both awarded Corporation of the Year honors to technology and telecommunications businesses in the past 10 years to recognizing best in class work in supplier diversity.

In 2016, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce introduced the Best of the Best designation for corporate inclusion. The inaugural recipients included two tech/ telecom corporations.


The National Minority Supplier Development Council named transportation companies as Corporation of the Year four times in the past decade. The only five-time NMSDC Corporation of the Year is an automotive company. Ten members of the Billion Dollar Roundtable are part of the transportation industry as well.

The transportation sector's success with minority suppliers goes beyond spend however. These corporations are constantly looking for opportunities to partner with minority-owned companies in meaningful ways in seeking the innovation and agility we know diverse businesses bring to the table. In one instance, an auto giant collaborated with an Hispanic woman-owned firm to create a new company that manufactures a part they need for a new line of trucks. In addition, many transportation companies host Opportunity Exchanges, day-long special events to which minority suppliers are invited to meet with procurement managers, learn more about the company, and pitch their products or services.

Consumer Products

The consumer products sector has the highest visibility and impact in American homes, and the industry is actively working to reflect the diversity of the United States consumer. Through inclusive product development and (sometimes controversial) advertising, our diverse population is better represented at retailers than ever before.

In 2015, a national retailer partnered with the Women's Business Enterprise National Council to highlight products from women-owned businesses with consumer-facing signage and labeling.

Inclusion within the supply chain is also a priority. Four members of the Billion Dollar Roundtable come from the consumer products sector. One of those members, a major consumer products manufacturer, achieved the billion dollar spend milestone with the help of an award-winning, immersive, cutting-edge program that educates suppliers on the procurement process, including a supplier portal to streamline integration of minority suppliers into the supply chain.


From health services to hospitals to pharmaceuticals, the healthcare industry is stepping up to meet the call for supplier diversity. In fact, healthcare currently has three representatives seated at the Billion Dollar Roundtable with more striving to achieve that milestone.

The industry is showing progress on the consumer side as well. The Human Rights Campaign's most recent Health Equality Index, promoting equitable and inclusive care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer patients and their families, reported a record 590 participating hospitals and healthcare facilities with 98 percent demonstrating that they have LGBTQ-inclusive patient and employment non-discrimination policies and equal visitation policies.

While you can find individual, and multiple, examples of supplier diversity excellence in every industry, these four sectors have demonstrated and been recognized for leading the charge toward economic equality in the past decade. Now the question is, which industries will stand out in the next ten years?


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The team has a long history in driving innovative solutions in supplier diversity. We believe that companies deserve solutions that are effective and provide measurable value and results. Started more than a decade ago, supplier.io has rapidly become a prominent provider of supplier diversity solutions to leading corporations. We currently support customers in automotive, healthcare, insurance, retail, manufacturing, education, and banking. One in five Fortune 50 company relies on supplier.io.