Jul 17 2017

“My Journey to Leading CBS Supplier Diversity” by Natalie Robinson

I have so much gratitude and appreciation for the executive leadership team at CBS that continues to believe in me. From being hired as a manager in 2011 to now being promoted to Vice President, Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity, it really goes to show that CBS truly cares about your direction and professional development within the organization.

My responsibilities are to provide access, growth and development opportunities for qualified, diverse-owned suppliers who meet specific CBS procurement requirements. A diverse supplier is a business that is certified as being minority-owned, woman-owned, LGBT-owned, veteran-owned or is a small disadvantaged business. There is a lot of undiscovered talent in the supplier diversity community who can provide competitive pricing and outstanding service. It is my job to become their advocate.

Prior to joining CBS, I began my professional career working for IBM Business Consulting Services and Sirius XM Satellite Radio. My function has always been in the space of supply management and strategic sourcing.  At CBS, I was able to expand my role to sourcing opportunities specifically for diverse suppliers.  Since the launch of this program, CBS has seen significant growth in spending with diverse-owned businesses across the organization. In recent years, hundreds of qualified diverse suppliers have participated in CBS Supplier Diversity Outreach events. The connections made at these events have contributed to millions of dollars in CBS contracts being awarded to diverse-owned suppliers, by providing them opportunities to compete in our competitive bid processes.

Two years ago, I hosted and coordinated the annual CBS supplier diversity outreach event in Los Angeles. The program included remarks from keynote speaker Earvin “Magic” Johnson to over 300 attendees, including 20 diverse-owned suppliers, coupled with targeted matchmaker sessions. At this event, I was the recipient of the 2015 CBS Supplier Diversity Internal Advocate Award. This accolade is presented to an employee considered to be a “champion” for supplier diversity and continues to support the initiative year around.

“Natalie’s commitment to enhancing and expanding the CBS Corporation Supplier Diversity Program is evident in the many ways she has contributed to the exceptional improvement in the bottom line results. In addition, the supplier diversity events that she spearheads in both New York and Los Angeles have proven to create opportunities for dynamic, diverse suppliers to connect with buyers across the Corporation’s business units. It was indeed my honor to award her the well-deserved CBS Internal Advocate Award.”– Josie J. Thomas, Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, CBS Corporation.

It is such a blessing to have a career path that puts me in a position to contribute to the overall goals and success of CBS Corporation.  I am thankful for the opportunity to work in areas that I am most passionate about, such as diversity, inclusion and social responsibility.  What’s exciting to me is that my work, career and interest have intersected. What more can I ask for?