On February 6, 2019, Proctor & Gamble held their Supplier Citizenship Summit: Diversity & Inclusion at their headquarters in Cincinnati. “Our Supplier Citizenship Summit is part of how we bring together suppliers to share resources and expand access to collaborate around citizenship and delivering better business results,” said Melissa Baker, Senior Manager of Global Purchases, Supplier Citizenship & Innovation at P&G.
P&G stepped up as a sponsor of our inaugural Derby Diversity & Business Summit in 2018, and is a sponsor again for our second year, focused on Peeling Back the Layers and Finding Common Ground Within Your Supply Chain and Your Workforce. We were thrilled to attend this year’s Supplier Citizenship Summit, to engage with and learn alongside diverse-owned businesses in P&G’s supply chain.
Throughout the day, we heard from P&G team members including Nalina Bates who reminded us that, “Diverse organizations outperform and out innovate other organizations.” And, from Karl Preissner, who described MARC (Men Advocating Real Change), and said, “Discussing systemic cultural advantages (privilege) is important, because understanding it, and the various ways it impacts us drives how we build inclusion in the workplace.” Shane Meeker, their Corporate Historian, referenced a Harvard Business Review article when asking, “Do you have a speak up culture?” Because, as the article highlights, the ability to speak up and leverage innovation holds potential for the workforce.
During lunch, P&G hosted six businesses owned by graduates of the Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Conference/P&G Women’s Business Development Program as part of their Women-owned Supplier Fair, including:
Heading to our breakout session “Leveraging the Supplier Diversity Value Proposition,” we were introduced to Ralph Moore, President and Founder of RGMA, who has over four decades of experience. “A productive relationship with diverse suppliers is the foundation to community transformation,” he said.
Ralph went on to describe a scene from early in his daughter’s life, as he taught her about the importance of supporting diverse owned businesses. He described how she reached for a box of cereal, and he explained that the maker of that cereal didn’t invest in diverse suppliers, so that money didn’t come back to benefit communities like theirs. He pointed to another box of cereal, this company does support diverse businesses he said. That means, more money comes back into our community. If we buy the first box from the company who doesn’t support diverse businesses, we can’t go to Disneyland. If we buy the box from the company that does support diverse businesses, we can. Which one do you think his daughter chose?
Shelly McNamara, VP of HR for P&G, wove together poetry, personal life lessons, and work experience during the keynote, challenging everyone to level up. “Authenticity requires truth,” she said. “Openness and authenticity enable learning and growth, and relationships are foundational for growth.” She went on to describe how important it was for her to come out as a lesbian, and what it meant to be part of a company that had her back.
“I invite you to explore the edges
To go outside the lines
To find the beauty
Not on the straight line
To find the beauty that comes
From exploring and living on the edges”
[excerpt from Shelly McNamara’s On the Edges]
Closing out the Summit, William Gipson, P&G’s Chief Diversity Officer said, “We recognize that we need to view things through different possibilities and lenses. We cannot continue to grow without diverse suppliers. We’re not doing this just to be doing it when it comes to diversity and inclusion. We think D&I is the only reliable path to grow in the future.”
Throughout the Summit, P&G shared videos of the advertisements they’ve created from around the world, that tackle social norms as a way for them to further demonstrate their values, leveraging their buying power as the largest purchaser of media in the world. Click below to see a few of the videos from campaigns in the U.S., India, France, and more.