Accenture promotes an inclusive work environment that influences how we run our business. We strive to work with others who embrace our values by growing our pool of diverse suppliers and encouraging our large suppliers to engage diverse organizations on our behalf. Our supplier inclusion and diversity efforts demonstrate our commitment to inclusive procurement practices to create long-term value for our clients and our communities. We focus on minority-, ethnic- and women-owned businesses and those owned by or that actively employ persons with disabilities, visible and otherwise; veterans with and without disabilities; refugees; people geographically remote from labor markets; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons.
Our Supplier Inclusion & Diversity program includes 16 countries (by the end of fiscal 2015), engaging diverse- and small-/medium-sized businesses into our supply chain and supporting local marketplace empowerment through capacity building programs and collaborations with several global and local entrepreneurship organizations, including WEConnect International (which we co-founded and serve on its board) in 13 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa and Latin America, and Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), which aims to improve the livelihood of former female waste-pickers by strengthening their business.
We believe that small, medium and diverse businesses should have equal opportunity to participate in the procurement sourcing process. We focus not only on expanding our own pool of small, medium and diverse suppliers, but also on encouraging our large suppliers to leverage diverse suppliers on Accenture’s behalf.
We have been able to track our diverse procurement spend most consistently in the United States, where we achieved a rate of 30 percent of total procurement spend with diverse suppliers in fiscal 2015, even as our total spend decreased.
Learn more about our Supplier Inclusion & Diversity program in our Corporate Citizenship Report.
Accenture’s Diverse Supplier Development Program (DSDP) is a key component of our commitment to developing and expanding relationships with minority, women-owned, persons with disabilities, veterans and other diverse businesses. DSDP represents a strategic sourcing strategy for Accenture and our clients. The formal, 12- to 18-month program pairs senior Accenture executive "mentors" with diverse supplier “protégé” companies to help them grow their own businesses. In turn, we, our clients and our communities benefit from their innovative contributions.
We launched DSDP in the United States in 2006. Our fifth class will celebrate its graduation in October 2016. Through the years, we have expanded the program’s geographic footprint as well as the composition of our protégé classes. For example, the last four classes included protégés from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-owned businesses as well as those owned by veterans, with and without disabilities. By the end of fiscal 2015, 101 diverse suppliers had graduated or were in the process of completing the program, per our goal—70 in the United States, 17 in Canada and 14 in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Our new goal is to graduate 170 diverse suppliers by fiscal 2020. We are actively working to achieve this goal, with the understanding that resource constraints and market realities may inhibit our success in achieving this number.
We believe that by providing development opportunities for small, medium and diverse businesses, we adopt smarter operations, enabling us to cast a wider net and tap a larger pool of latent talent. More inclusive and demographically representative supply chains help Accenture and our clients generate services and products that are relevant to the diverse global community we serve.