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As a follow-up to their July 2020 list, the ANA now has over 300 companies on their curated list of Certified Diverse Suppliers.
“Supplier diversity drives competition between existing and potential suppliers while promoting innovation, as diverse vendors can offer new products, services and solutions” – Bob Liodice, CEO of ANA
In May 2020, the ANA released the report, “The Power of Supplier Diversity”, which highlighted the barriers to finding diverse suppliers for marketers. This prompted an open letter, ANA/AIMM Commitment to Equality, Inclusion, and Systemic Change, to encourage the development of an equitable creative supply chain through strategic investments in agencies, broadcasters, suppliers, and producers owned or run by Black, Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ people, and people with disabilities.
Last month, the ANA issued a follow-up report, The Growth of Supplier Diversity, which provides a deep dive into supplier diversity in marketing/advertising, covering areas including benefits, challenges, spend, goals, and measurement.
This confirmed that finding talent is often the biggest hurdle, and in response to this, and in partnership with the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), the ANA have curated a list of certified diverse suppliers that work in the industry.
Although initially published in July 2020, the list now consists of 300 companies and provides marketers an accessible way to reach diverse talent. This list can be downloaded here, and is free from the point of access.
In a recent interview with ANA’s Group Executive Vice President, Bill Duggan, Simona Rabsatt Butler, Senior Director of Global Strategic Sourcing at Visa, discusses the centrality of diversity in successful business.
Having contributed to the supplier diversity report, she says that diverse suppliers offer flexibility and agility that non-diverse suppliers might not have, “providing the company with the ability to impact communities directly; and affording corporations a direct ability to drive equity within their supply chain while having a positive economic transformative ripple effect”.
The Expanding List
The important part of ANA’s initiative is that the list continues to grow. Calling for contributions, the aim is to demystify diversity.
In a statement regarding the initial launch, CEO of the ANA, Bob Liodice says, “The ANA is resolute in its belief that supplier diversity offers many benefits to corporations. It provides opportunities for business expansion as new consumer needs emerge based on shifting demographics. Supplier diversity drives competition between existing and potential suppliers while promoting innovation, as diverse vendors can offer new products, services and solutions”.
It is notable that the ANA also recently reported that 89% of marketers see that the importance of working with diverse marketing and advertising suppliers has increased over the past year, with 58% of that cohort stating the increase has been significant.
Moreover, an additional 69% of ANA members have strategic plans in place to hire suppliers with diverse backgrounds for marketing and advertising services. This suggests that diversity initiatives are not only becoming more common, but having a clear business benefit.