Driving Gender Diversity in the Supply Chain – WEConnect International Day at WBENC,Baltimore 2019

Driving Gender Diversity in the Supply Chain


June is an exciting month for supply chain gender diversity - it is the month when the biggest global event is held. WBENC – The Women’s Business Enterprise Council is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the US and the leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs.  Their mission is to fuel economic growth globally by identifying, certifying and facilitating the development of women-owned business. Outside of the US, the global body for certifying women-owned businesses is WEConnect International, established in 100 countries with a women’s network of 7000+. Connecting corporations and their supply chain spend to their network of certified (51% owned and run) women-owned businesses.
Here is a link to some of the corporate members of WEConnect International:
Diversity in the supply chain is of growing importance in the UK and globally.  If a corporation understands the value of internal diversity to drive innovation and boost success – diversity in the supply chain is the next best step and equally important.
Women-owned businesses bring different perspectives to a supply chain, can drive greater levels of entrepreneurialism, innovation, agility and flexibility, and commercial impact. But sometimes it is difficult to get started, to find a way into corporate businesses to get their voice heard and have the opportunity to present their ideas and business.
The flagship event annually is, WEConnect International and WBENC, held in June in the US and this year the event was held in Baltimore attracting thousands of female entrepreneurs and corporations to meet, connect and do business together.
As a member of WEConnect Europe – The Sourcing Team have attended most of the WBENC and WEConnect International events over the last 8 years in addition to the WEConnect European Conference held in London in November, both are absolutely not to be missed. Its where the magic happens, connecting people, sharing stories and experiences and making friends - whether you work in a corporation or run your own women-owned business - it's all about the network.
Without question there are huge demands on today’s procurement teams, pressures to deliver savings and bring value across the business. This is likely to include areas of global focus such as sustainability and diversity – vital for today’s employees and millennials, wanting to work for value driven organisations and D&I are one demonstration of this.
Here is a CIPS Supply Management article on the subject:
The day before the WBENC fair opens WEConnect hold their International Day and this year it was really exciting for the UK WBE (women business enterprise) Council to attend and run the networking session – Creating your own WEConnect-Effect.  Gill Thorpe – chair and founder of the WBE Council along with three council members – Miriam Dervan – Founder & Executive Chair of mdgroup,  Karen Hayes – Managing Director of World Wide Group and Sarah Davis – CEO of Skills4Stem were there to get everyone in the room relaxed, talking and making useful global connections.
It started with an ice breaker session which was great fun and really did the trick of absolutely breaking the ice with a wonderful interactive session from Miriam.  The next sessions went through some of the tricks and tips to networking, how to be memorable and remembering its not all about you – being a good networker is about sharing and helping others.
Here is a link to a blog post from President and CEO of WBENC - Pamela Prince-Eason talking about the event held in Baltimore.
It was a truly excellent International day but if you missed out then you might want to join the WEConnect Europe Conference in November – the biggest of its kind in Europe, held in London on the 19th and 20th November.  If you would like to find out more here are a few useful links below:
Or, if you would like to find our more click here to email me  and I’d be happy to connect you up or tell you more..
Here are some of my favourite pictures from the UK WBE Council networking session in Baltimore:

Creating the WEConnect-Effect Baltimore