Making Supply Meet Demand in a More Diverse World

A 2020 report by global management consulting company McKinsey and Company noted an important trend:  diverse companies outperform their non-diverse counterparts on profitability. It’s research OpenSesame has known all along.

When companies embrace and foster diversity, they are open to new ideas, ways of thinking, and change. The result is innovation, progress, and improved performance. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a growing priority in many organizations. Conversations, strategies, plans, and the implementation of DEI initiatives are at the forefront of organizational conversations around the world. This is great news, and it’s a great first step. But many of these conversations limit DEI to within the walls of the organization. If your organization would like to go beyond the typical DEI initiatives to make an impact in your community and industry, a supplier diversity program may be just what you need. 


What is a Supplier Diversity Program?

A supplier diversity program is a way for organizations to expand and extend their DEI efforts. Rather than focusing solely on what the organization can do directly, such as talent acquisition and training, a supplier diversity program allows the organization to be an indirect influence on an entire industry. 

Organizations with a supplier diversity program pledge to doing business with companies who share their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. To promote equity, they prioritize relationships with businesses that are owned, controlled, and managed by a cross-section of people who represent the diversity of the world in which we live, including minorities, women, people who are disabled, veterans, and people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community.  

Supplier diversity programs promote larger-scale equity than company-wide DEI programs can alone because they aim to provide every member of the industry and community with access to the same opportunities. They recognize that advantages and barriers exist and extend the commitment to correcting the imbalances by supporting suppliers that are owned by marginalized and/ or disadvantaged groups. 


The Benefits of a Supplier Diversity Program

A commitment to supplier diversity is growing because consumers demand it. According to Liza Wisner, OpenSesame’s Senior Curator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, “Today’s organizations are judged more on the basis of their social impact. Being intentional about growing partnerships with minority-owned and managed suppliers committing to the Supplier Diversity process will have a direct impact on your brand reputation, attracting and keeping talent, and developing consumer loyalty.”

Research conducted by the Hackett Group revealed that organizations with a long-term supplier diversity program generate 133% greater return on their cost of procurement and add $3.6 million to their company’s bottom line for every $1 million spent. 

In addition, being proactive about Supplier Diversity will: 

  • Provide a competitive advantage.
  • Meet customer demands.
  • Widen the pool of suppliers.
  • Enhance brand reputation.
  • Increase flexibility and responsiveness.


OpenSesame’s Commitment

OpenSesame strives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the communities we serve and the world in which we live. 

A supplier diversity program was a natural next step in our DE&I initiatives. This week, we will send out a survey to all publishers, inquiring about their organization’s diversity. According to Spencer Thornton, Senior Vice President of Curation at OpenSesame, “The data will be used to inform company DE&I goals and initiatives and will provide much-needed information about diversity within the elearning industry.” 

Supplier diversity is also not just about an organization’s spend. It is also about proactively providing opportunities to develop underserved and underrepresented communities. OpenSesame’s employees and leadership have made actionable commitments to the work ahead — for our world, our people, and our customers. We hope you will join us in committing to becoming an integral part of shaping the supply diversity landscape of expertly curated elearning. If you would like to learn more about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at OpenSesame visit our website at