An organization that states it supports Diversity Equity and Inclusion and is committed to it has to not only do it on the inside. There has to be an external presence on the outside by ensuring they have a diversity supplier program that includes all vendors. This ensures that the organization utilizes a percentage of their suppliers that are a certified diversity owned business in various categories.
When a company brands itself as supporting DEI, this has to go beyond basic requirements, initiatives, events and positions. They also need to be committed to giving an opportunity to diversity owned businesses for support. A strong vetting process in the supplier program will qualify the potential businesses they engage with accordingly by reviewing vendors, the preferred vendors list and anyone who submits bids in the RFP process. A diversity supplier program commits the business to spend their outgoing money supporting DEI too.
In Human Resources the department is there to support the organization and people. Since people can on average make up approximately 70% of an organizations' budget spend the department needs to engage diverse vendors, and vet vendors for their process as well to keep to the DEI commitment in addition to any compliance requirements. Why is this extremely important? There are several reasons, the main one being if you are utilizing a staffing or placement vendor and you do not vet their process, it may not align with the organizations process or goals and it may not also ensure the same standards for diversity of candidates. The same is true for any tech or SAAS vendors providing any service to the organization to support the employees, such as AI platforms trying to engage more candidates for the organization. Is the information and data being looked at for a commitment to outreach to diverse talent, metrics provided be validated for accuracy, etc.
In closing, if an organization is truly committed to DEI it needs to be not just done for branding and marketing. There are many ways to ensure a company is committed to DEI. The processes, vendors and outcomes must all support DEI. Diverse owned businesses and vendors must be part of a consistent supplier program the company spends money on to support the commitment to DEI by purchasing from diverse suppliers.