My mother and aunt have been restaurateurs in the Washington, D.C. area for over 25 years. Being that my mother and aunt are both women and minorities, supplier diversity has been in my life from day one. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, it was evident that I would later become a business owner or have a career in a related field. Fast forward to late 2012, I was presented with the opportunity to expand my role to include leadership over the CBS Supplier Diversity Program. What a blessing! Part of my role as Director of Strategic Sourcing & Supplier Diversity is to identify qualified, diverse suppliers who can meet specific CBS procurement requirements. A diverse supplier is a business that is certified as being minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran-owned or is a small disadvantaged business. Once identified, the prospective suppliers are validated and often provided the opportunity to compete in CBS bidding opportunities. The Supplier Diversity team also implements preferred vendor programs and encourages all CBS business units to utilize the discounted rates and promotions. 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.
In the fourth quarter, CBS Strategic Sourcing hosts its Annual Supplier Diversity Outreach Event & Networking Reception at CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA. The event features a procurement fair, targeted matchmaker meetings, and general networking sessions with minority and women-owned suppliers. The event features a keynote speaker from executive leadership and an award ceremony for the CBS Diverse Supplier of the Year and CBS Internal Advocate Award. This event presents diverse business owners an opportunity to pitch to CBS decision-makers across the business. Other networks and production studios are invited to participate in these meetings as well. 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.
We have an exciting year ahead of us. Our supplier diversity planning committee is bouncing around a few ideas for the upcoming New York event. We want to change it up a bit. Anything from panel discussions, symposiums to small workshops and vendor presentations. The supplier diversity community genuinely appreciates our effort to be inclusive. As a result, these diverse businesses have “sharpen their pencils” and “put their best foot forward” to meet our various procurement needs and add significant value across the CBS organization.