Are we OK with the status quo?
Publisher’s Note – September 2018
By Robin Dillard
The existing state of affairs of our business diversity and inclusion efforts, especially our corporate supplier diversity initiatives, are threatened — that is if we expect to truly meet the needs of corporate supply chains in the coming years. I admit I am a relative newbie to the game as I’ve only formally and professionally been an active participant in the conversation since 2012, but I’m a quick study. There are demographic, social, political, environmental and economic realities that we must contend with if we expect our business inclusion efforts to deliver on our objective —economic empowerment of the diverse business community. After 50 years of supplier diversity, how have we fared? What works? What doesn’t work? Who are we leaving behind? I don’t have all the answers, but these are questions that our BEQ Pride editorial team considers with every article selected or recognition included our publication. This issue is no different. In fact, I believe we’ve raised the bar.
First, we are honored to announce Pacific Gas & Electric Company as our 2018 LGBTQ Corporate Eminence Award recipient. This designation of distinction was granted based on their extraordinary application demonstrating their outstanding efforts in support of the LGBTQ business community. Congratulations are in order for Joan Kerr and the team at PG&E. In addition to the Corporate Eminence award, we are also opening nominations for the 2019 candidates for our 40 LGBTQ Leaders Under 40 list. The nominating period begins August 15, 2018, and runs through October 16, 2018. This list recognizes young LGBTQ leaders from around the country who are making a difference today.
This quarter we’re also taking a deep dive into the Marketing, Public Relations and Communications areas. You’ll hear about our conversation with the Brand|Pride team, discover insights from Community Marketing Insights and look beyond metrics to see how Pink Banana Media enhances corporate outreach to LGBTQ markets and ILDK Media empowers LGBTQ artists. Greg DeShields from PHL Diversity shares how their focus on inclusion has been driving diverse convention business to Philadelphia, creating jobs and economic opportunities for local businesses along the way for more than 30 years.
In addition to reaching my own half-century mark in July and participating in my first Ragnar Tahoe Trail run in Lake Tahoe, there two other half-century celebrations in this issue. IBM’s supplier diversity program is 50 years old and BEQ Pride was on the scene for the celebration. We also celebrate 50 years with Teresa Lawrence’s Delta Personnel and share how this WBE and ally to the LGBTQ community has been a role model for many. Finally, the Business Equality Network introduces pürEpiphany and a recent engagement with Diversified Suppliers, a California based LGBT/MBE.
Some may consider me a disruptor — a person or thing that prevents something, especially a system, process, or event, from continuing as usual or as expected — in the business inclusion space, but I just look at this magazine and our work as building a strong and inclusive bridge to a future we can be proud of. We’ll keep asking the important questions and look to upset the status quo as necessary.
Let’s make change happen now!