Transforming the Supply Chain: How Diversity and Inclusion Improves the Supply Chain

Transforming the Supply Chain: How Diversity and Inclusion Improves the Supply Chain

Supply chains are experiencing various disruptions, and companies are using these moments as an opportunity to change for the better. Various problems like the shipping crisis in 2021 and the increase in global inflation rates are pushing businesses to create more resilient supply chains through industry 4.0 technologies, real-time resilience, as well as improved equality and inclusion. In fact, Unilever’s chief supply chain officer, Marc Engel, emphasizes that equality and inclusion can strengthen the global economy’s foundations and boost businesses’ growth and resilience.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies may seem unrelated to supply chain issues. However, they can actually transform your business’s supply chain and workforce in these ways:

Reflects your commitment to your clients

Plenty of businesses make various promises to their clients, but only a few are able to turn their promises into a reality. Citi is one of these businesses, and they were able to fulfill their mission of fostering financial growth by embracing DEI in their supply chain. The financial institution recognizes that DEI efforts are a must-have factor for every business, which is why they’re implementing diversity in their suppliers and even investing in startups owned by women and minority groups. Likewise, you can demonstrate your commitment to your consumers by turning your mission statement into a reality and embracing diversity in your supply chain.

Brings in-demand competencies to the supply chain

There’s a big gender gap in the supply chain due to stereotypes and tradition. Interestingly, 63% of men and 75% of women believe that women are actually advantageous for supply chain management tasks, making it important to close the gender gap in the supply chain. Hugh Williams of Hughenden Consulting explains that women can actually bring in more advanced and in-demand skills, such as people and communication skills, in the creation and sale of every product. Indeed, opening up your doors to people from different walks of life can help you get more professionals with in-demand skills and fresh ideas.

Drives innovation in the supply chain process

Aside from bringing in-demand competencies, empowered women can also help in innovating the supply chain process. The empowerment of women in the workplace can actually motivate them to be more resilient, autonomous, and self-determined. Empowering female professionals through skills training or leadership opportunities can actually motivate them to address tough concerns, like bottlenecks in the delivery process or even stock shortages. By investing in women and other minorities, you will be rewarded with people who are willing to go the extra mile in improving the supply chain.

Improves the overall performance of your team

Your supply chain team’s performance can further improve, especially if you embrace diversity and inclusion. Gartner reports that inclusive teams perform up to 30% better in high-diversity environments because people are allowed to bring out their full potential, instead of being limited to certain roles or even discriminated against in their workplace. Diverse and inclusive companies are also 60% more likely to outperform their peers in decision-making processes, so you can expect better solutions to supply chain concerns with a more well-rounded workforce.

Your business’s ability to progress will be limited, especially if you also have a limited supply chain workforce and supplier network. You can get better performance and solutions to disruptions by opening your business to various people.