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ASCM Insights

Announcing the 2022 Supply Chain DEI Report

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In our very tight labor market, employers must deliver on people’s cultural and ethical expectations. As I told the audience at a presentation I recently gave with Dana Stiffler, vice president and analyst at Gartner: “Organization leaders have to ask themselves, ‘Do people even want to work for us?’”

Many people are scrutinizing the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles of employers before even applying for a job. Gen Z workers, or those born between 1997 and 2012, demand both DEI and racial justice from the brands they buy, according to Forbes. Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse age group, with more than 48% of U.S. Gen Zers identifying as non-white. Plus, this cohort has grown up alongside a variety of events related to social and racial justice, as well as the 2021 establishment of Juneteenth, which the United States will observe this coming Monday, as a federal holiday. In short, Gen Zers want to spend and make their money with organizations that reflect their own principles.

Our latest DEI study with Gartner shows that supply chain organizations are also increasingly focused on DEI. The 2022 Supply Chain DEI Report found that 75% of organizations consider gender, race and ethnicity in their DEI strategies. This is up from 59% for gender and 62% for race and ethnicity the previous year.

However, there are discrepancies between various types of businesses. Nearly all large companies have DEI goals (93%), but only one-third (37%) of smaller organizations said the same. Large organizations are also 2.5 times more likely to have demonstrable DEI initiatives in place.

Similarly, there are more DEI efforts at publicly held companies than private ones. People of color (POC) represent 35% of the overall supply chain workforce, 25% of managers and supervisors, 19% of senior managers, 17% of directors and 13% of vice presidents at publicly held companies. This is in comparison with 30%, 16%, 11%, 10% and 7%, respectively, at private ones.

Of course, representation matters a lot. Having POC in leadership shows others that there’s a strong career path available to them. According to the study, the presence of POC in leadership positions:

  • Equips all leaders to think and act more inclusively (as reported by 51% of respondents)
  • Increases corporate investment in DEI strategies and initiatives (43%)
  • Improves recruitment of POC (31%)
  • Inspires the creation of structures to mitigate bias (28%)
  • Encourages the inclusion of DEI metrics on management scorecards (26%)
  • Fosters the development of POC (20%).

Gaining momentum

Although this momentum is promising, there’s still work to do. To that end, I invite you to spend some time with a recent episode of The Rebound Podcast, during which Bob Trebilcock and I discuss the importance of DEI with ASCM board members Katie Fowler and Pamela Dow. In addition, Gartner’s Stiffler and I will be leading a fireside chat about this at the ASCM CONNECT Annual Conference to continue opening up the conversation and learning from each other’s diversity of thought. Lastly, you can join the DEI conversation with supply chain professionals from around the world within our ASCM Communities. Let’s work together to create the best possible working environments for all.

About the Author

Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE CEO, ASCM

Abe Eshkenazi is chief executive officer of the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the largest organization for supply chain and the global pacesetter of organizational transformation, talent development and supply chain innovation. During his tenure, ASCM has significantly expanded its services to corporations, individuals and communities. Its revenue has more than doubled, and the association successfully completed three mergers in response to both heightened industry awareness and the vast and ongoing global impact driven by supply chains. Previously, Eshkenazi was the managing director of the Operations Consulting Group of American Express Tax and Business Services. He may be contacted at abe@ascm.org.

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