IBM has long recognized that diversity is critical to fostering innovation, impacting our bottom line and delivering value to clients — and that supplier diversity adds to our competitive advantage while stimulating growth in a global marketplace and driving development in growing economies.
IBM created its supplier diversity program in 1968, before the existence of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) as well as the creation of both the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Our program’s goal is to provide opportunities to diverse suppliers who can add value to our supply chain in every region where we operate. Suppliers qualify as diverse by being at least 51 percent owned by people from an ethnic minority (as defined in each country or region), or by women, military veterans, people with disabilities or LGBT individuals.
In 2000, IBM was the first information technology firm to join the Billion Dollar Roundtable, an organization that encourages businesses to increase their spending with diverse suppliers. Since then, IBM has annually conducted greater than $1 billion in business with first-tier diverse suppliers in the United States. (Companies with which IBM has direct business relationships are considered “first-tier” suppliers.) With the growth of IBM’s diverse supplier initiative outside the United States, IBM since 2006 has conducted more than $2 billion in business annually with first-tier diverse suppliers globally. In 2016, IBM purchased $2.6 billion in goods and services from first- and second-tier diverse suppliers globally, of which nearly $1.3 billion was with first-tier diverse suppliers in the United States and $744 million with first-tier diverse suppliers in other countries.
($ in billions)
2016 spending with first-tier diverse suppliers by location