Author Archives: Kanita H. Brown



The Case for Considering Contingent Workers in Your Diversity & Inclusion Strategy

Contingent workers are now sitting more firmly in the driver’s seat of their careers and are being selective in where they share their talent. While pay is still a significant driver, the culture and work environment of a business are also becoming important factors, similar to those seeking full-time employment. Organizations develop diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs designed to foster teamwork, acceptance and creativity within their full-time employee populations. Given the increased profile of contingent workers within organizations, is it reasonable to expect that this part of the worker population be considered when developing initiatives for the organization as a whole?

How to Incorporate Diversity and Inclusion Practices Into Contingent Labor Programs

supplier diversity

Many organizations struggle with how to incorporate D&I practices within their contingent workforce. In response to concerns regarding co-employment, buying organizations tend to keep non-employees at arm’s length. But given the increasing number of contingent workers in the workforce mix, as well as the central role they are playing in more organizations, one could argue that a different approach should be considered in acknowledgement of the changing dynamics.

Supplier Diversity Success Story: How an MBE Partnership Won a $100M+ Contract

As a procurement professional, I’m primarily tasked with identifying the best ways to utilize our spend and influence to as to create the maximum advantage for my organization. Obviously, this is extremely valuable for the company but can sometimes leave me feeling a bit uninspired. As a purchases manager at a global consumer products company, I was known to say to my closest colleagues, “It’s just soap and toilet paper. We are not changing the world.”

However, several years ago I was presented with a rare chance to make a difference in a way that was highly meaningful for me. I may not have realized it at the time, but I was fortunate to work in an organization that called out supplier diversity as a critical factor in its business strategy. A category plan couldn’t be written that didn’t include a supplier diversity component, and an RFP or business award couldn’t be made without addressing how we will reach our diversity targets.