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Buyers ... Should they work with female suppliers?

Ashleigh Hambling

McKinsey & Company found that companies with a higher representation of women in executive positions are more likely to outperform their competitors.

"Delivering Through Diversity, 2017"

Two types of people and their reactions to 'Women in Business’  

1) Those who feel fired up and excited 

2) Those who roll their eyes at CSR and ‘feminism’

 The following paragraphs are for both of you …

In recent years, the role of women in business has evolved significantly, with an increasing number of women taking the reins and making their mark in various industries. But are there tangible benefits for companies and the economy as a whole, from working with women-owned organisations and those with gender-balanced leadership? If you’re in a position that involves getting out to industry events, you may have noticed this key theme … 

Procurement teams are encouraged to consider working with female-led businesses, in the same way that they are encouraged to be open to working with SMEs.

So, is this just a tick-box exercise for the sake of ‘doing the right thing?’ Are suppliers going to win work purely because of their % gender split?

According to the procurement leads that I’ve heard speak this year, apparently not. I’ll paraphrase words from buyers across industries to bring everyone some clarity. 

“Being women-owned does not automatically grant you business. But with procurement being urged to consider these organisations as suppliers, they will now have the opportunity to have a seat at the table. The bidding process remains the same and work is won by the supplier who is the best fit.”


So, what’s all the fuss about? 

McKinsey & Company found that companies with a higher representation of women in executive positions are more likely to outperform their competitors. "Delivering Through Diversity, 2017" Could working with women be beneficial (beyond fulfilling a quota)? Let’s let the facts do the talking.

  • Enhanced Decision Making: Diverse perspectives foster better decision-making. Research from Harvard Business Review ("How Diversity Can Drive Innovation") indicates that gender-diverse teams make more effective decisions by considering a wider range of insights and ideas.
  • Improved Financial Performance: A study by Peterson Institute for International Economics ("Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Study") found that companies with women in top leadership roles achieved a 15% higher net margin on average. This suggests that gender diversity at the executive level positively impacts the bottom line.
  • Increased innovation and creativity: When diverse voices contribute to problem-solving, innovation thrives. According to a Boston Consulting Group report ("How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation"), companies with more diverse management teams generated 19% higher revenue from innovation than those with less diversity.
I know I called you out on the eye roll at CSR, but can we talk about it? 

Job creation and economic growth … impacts us all in some way, right? 

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) reports that women-owned businesses support over 9.4 million jobs and generate $1.94 trillion in economic output in the United States alone. By incorporating more women-owned businesses into the supply chain, we fuel economic growth and foster job creation.

There is real life impact that sits behind these initiatives, and don’t we want to encourage supply chain competition to keep quality high?

I'm going to share something about us now (you’ve got to expect it, I’m in business development)

Katherine Corich (our founder) was approached by leaders from the big firms in the early days of Sysdoc, and was asked how we managed to recruit all of the best women in the industry. Her reply was simple, “We’re smart enough to hire them”. 

To this day we have a 60/40 split, women to men and not because we go out specifically to recruit women, but because we hire the best candidates that come forward and this is the way it has played out. 

How does that impact the business? We haven’t measured it, but some of our clients have been with us for over twenty years and our feedback celebrates quality delivery and how much clients enjoy working with us.

If you’re left pondering your stance on this topic, let’s catch up! Email me at [email protected]

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