Supply Chain Diversity
IBM is committed to diversity in all parts of its business—and has been for more than 100 years.
In 1899, the Computing Scale Company, one of three companies that would later form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R) in 1911 (later renamed IBM), hired Richard MacGregor, a Black employee, as well as Lilly J. Philp, Nettie A. Moore and Emma K. Manske. This occurred 10 years before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded, 36 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and 20 years before women won the right to vote.
IBM is the first IT company to do more than $1 billion of business with diverse suppliers in the U.S.
IBM’s history of maintaining a diverse supply chain is no less pioneering. The company first established a global supply chain diversity program in 1968. This was four years before the establishment of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and 29 years before the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). We are the first IT company to conduct more than $1 billion of business with diverse suppliers in the U.S. And we learned early on that fostering diversity is not only the right thing to do for society, but for business as well. A diverse supplier base not only provides talent, it also helps add stability throughout our supply chain—and promotes economic growth is in local communities.
Learn about IBM’s other diversity milestones.
In 2010, IBM conducted $2.7 billion of global business with first- and second-tier diverse suppliers. Of that, $2.3 billion was contracted with first-tier suppliers, up from $2.1 billion in 2009. We also did more than $700 million of business with first-tier, non-U.S.-based diverse suppliers.
IBM also created a full-time supplier diversity position in China, one of the first companies to do so. The position was created in recognition of the fact that while supply chain diversity is well-established in the U.S., it is not well-understood in other countries, especially as compared to work force diversity.
of business across the world with first- and second-tier diverse suppliers.
For these and other accomplishments over the course of 2010, IBM’s Program Director of Supplier Diversity, Michael K. Robinson, was honored by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) as the 2010 Minority Supplier Development Leader of the Year. In addition to the NMSDC, IBM is a founding member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. IBM also participates in international organizations focused on supplier diversity, such as the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council, the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council, Minority Supplier Development United Kingdom, Minority Supplier Development China, WEConnect Canada, WEConnect Europe, WEConnect India and the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Amount of IBM business conducted with first-tier diverse suppliers
Looking forward, IBM plans to grow the diversity of its supply chain as our business needs continually evolve. IBM works with its supply chain teams to clearly define its requirements in both direct and indirect supply areas, and IBM has actively sought and worked with diverse suppliers that might be able to meet those requirements over time. And we continue to work with diverse suppliers—especially our second- and third-tier suppliers—to help them grow their capacity. This work will continue for many years to come.
of business with first-tier, non-U.S.-based diverse suppliers in 2010.
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