Ford’s Award Winning Supplier Diversity Strategy

The Ford Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Programme Dates Back to 1968, and has won Scores of Industry Awards

The Ford Supplier Diversity and Inclusion strategy began in 1968 as an Inner-City Supplier Development Program, to create jobs in urban areas of minority concentration. This initial programme requested by Henry Ford II was designed to identify high potential minority business enterprises and assist them in growing their companies to competitive positions in the automotive industry. 

This first programme eventually grew to incorporate further groups and become the award winning example of a Supplier Diversity and Inclusion strategies. The Supplier Diversity Development Office, is a group within Supply Chain Sustainability, and is a part of the wider Purchasing organisation of Ford Motor Company. This office administers the Supplier Diversity Development Programme and works with many diverse and small businesses to promote economic development across both production (direct) and non-production (indirect) forms of procurement. 

Key milestones of Ford’s Supplier Diversity strategy

  • 1976 - Minority Supplier Development Department established
  • 1978 - Ford’s SD&I programme began one of the first formal supplier diversity programmes in the USA
  • 1988 - Awarded Corporation of the Year for the first time by the National Minority Supplier Development Council
  • 1997 - Ford becomes a founding member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council 
  • 1999 - Ford begins the Tier 2 programme
  • 2005 - Ford’s SD&I programme expands to include women owned businesses
  • 2013 - Programme expands to include veteran owned businesses
  • 2017 - SD&I further expanded to include Canadian Aboriginal and Global Women Owned Businesses
  • 2018 - Ford’s SD&I Program expands further to include LGBTQ and Disability Owned Businesses.

Diversity and inclusion at Ford Motor Company 

The dedicated strategy has now won many industry awards for working with minority and diverse groups, as it looks to intentionally open opportunities to historically underrepresented businesses. This may include businesses owned, operated and controlled by: ethnic minorities, women, LGBT, veterans, disabled and others.

“Diversity & Inclusion permeates the core of our company – from the diversity of our product offerings and global workforce, to our strategic partners, supply base and dealers,” said Travis Spencer Head of  Supplier Diversity & Inclusion.  “Rapidly changing technologies are creating incredible opportunities for growth with diverse suppliers who are able to identify and understand the traditional industry disruptors, grasp the concept of Diversity & Inclusion and develop a forward-looking strategy and plan. We remain committed to support, develop, grow and promote our diverse suppliers while expanding the economic impact and growth in the community for a more sustainable future.” 

“The Plan for Ford Motor Company is underpinned by the value of Caring for Each Other, “ says Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley. “Our employees, our customer base, dealer network and supply chain are a family where we celebrate our differences. As we work to modernise across our business, we will rely on our diverse supply base to bring fresh ideas and perspectives. A supply base that reflects the diversity of our customer base will be our competitive edge as we work to deliver must-have products and services for our customers. Together, we can leverage our diverse backgrounds and diversity of thought to create a better Company and a better world.”

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