I was delighted to be presented with the Global Woman’s Business Enterprise of the Year at this year’s WEConnect International Gala run as a two-day virtual event for the first time. It brought a much-needed bit of positive news to all at The Sourcing Team and was doubly exciting as this is the first time that this has been awarded to a UK member of WEConnect.
The work that WEConnect do in terms of promoting gender diversity in the supply chain is invaluable. For those who don’t know of WEConnect, they are an international organisation that leads global supplier diversity initiatives spearheading the connection of women-owned business and multinational corporations.
They aim to ensure that majority-women-owned businesses are given fair and equal access to corporate and public sector procurement opportunities locally, nationally and internationally and that corporations understand and are able to benefit from the diversity, innovation and added value that women-owned businesses bring.
Women-owned businesses have so much to offer both to the corporate world and in building supportive networks. This encouraged me to set up and Chair the WBE (Women Business Enterprise) in the UK in 2015 (on behalf of WEConnect). We have built a fantastic and collaborative group of women-owned businesses that bring content, thought leadership and practical advice and support through events to all our members.
People want to work for or with value driven organisations, organisations with purpose. Organisations who live their values and can demonstrate action both internally and down the supply chain where procurement have the power to really make a positive difference. And one of those areas is supporting the opportunity for and growth of a diverse supply chain.
Most organisations understand the need for and benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce and many are now starting to embrace the benefits from a diverse and inclusive supply chain. Suppliers with a wider mix of backgrounds, genders, life and work experiences and perspectives help to unlock innovation and drive creativity by bringing new ideas, solutions and use of technologies that better reflect society.
A lot of women-owned companies tend to be small to medium sized and having a can-do ethos bring flexibility and agility which in turn helps bring new ideas to market quickly and respond to changing needs especially within the local environment.
There are also tremendous social-economic benefits in supporting diverse businesses and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5 focuses on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls both in the UK and around the world.
Thank you especially to Elizabeth Vazquez, President, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, the work Elizabeth has done and the support of all the member corporations is phenomenal.
The other winners of this years Gala included the 2020 Top Global Champions for supplier diversity and inclusion - IBM, Merck, Kelly Services, Cummins, Marriott, Johnson & Johnson, EY, Accenture, BNY Mellon, Intel. Honorable members: Adient, Boeing, Citi, DOW, Eaton, Enterprise Holdings, ExxonMobil, Ford, General Mills Moody’s, Procter & Gamble, Ranstad, SAP, Sony.
Maggie Berry OBE, Executive Director for Europe, WEConnect International comments, “with nearly 25 years’ experience gained from successfully running The Sourcing Team, Gill is a true role model for women business owners. She is a passionate advocate for supply chain inclusion as well as a dedicated chair of the WBE Council here in Europe and she has provided hours of support to WEConnect International and our network – both to other women-owned businesses and to our corporate members. I love her enthusiasm and continued commitment to driving impact around sustainability and supplier diversity - I cannot think of a more deserving person than Gill for WBE of the Year Award”.
Here is the link to Gill’s acceptance video and the website information on Gill along with the Distinguished Champion of the Year and WECatalyze award winners, and the Buyer of the Year, Johnson & Johnson.