Supplier Diversity and Why It Matters for Companies and Communities

April 17, 2023 | 3 minute read
Kimberly Reese
Sr. Project Manager, Procurement Program Management Office
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The Benefits

Did you know that Oracle has a Supplier Diversity Program? Well, we do -and we think it’s important.  Companies that implement supplier diversity programs reap several benefits, as does the broader community. Supplier diversity programs offer companies the chance to not only put their social responsibility goals into action by promoting a more inclusive approach to procurement, but it also provides tangible economic benefits.  Supplier diversity enables a company to widen their pool of suppliers, which gives them more choices during the procurement process, drives competition and provides potential links to new perspectives and ideas. For the community they see the growth of new economic opportunities for disadvantaged and underrepresented groups, often resulting in revenue influx and job creation in underserved areas.

The Origins

The concept of supplier diversity programs is not a new idea, in fact, the concept has been around for decades.  According to the Harvard Business Review*, the supplier diversity programs that we see today grew out of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s. Following a period of racial turmoil in Detroit, Michigan, in the late 1960s, auto manufacturers in the area began implementing the first supplier diversity programs. Over time, supplier diversity programs spread to many different industries and have expanded to incorporate many types of underrepresented groups and individuals.

Oracle’s Program

Oracle has a Supplier Diversity Program that is committed to supporting the growth of small and diverse businesses. Our US-based program aims to diversify our indirect supplier base (suppliers who provide goods and services for day-to-day internal business operations) by encouraging small, minority, women, veteran, service-disabled veteran, disability-owned and HubZone business enterprises to compete for these business opportunities.  Oracle works with many small and diverse suppliers and we are continuously striving to grow that number. The Supplier Diversity Team does ongoing outreach to Lines of Business and Employee Resource Groups to encourage Oracle teams that have an upcoming purchase, to reach out to our Supplier Diversity Team.  With listings of over 650,000 small and diverse suppliers, the Supplier Diversity Team will identify small and diverse suppliers in a desired area and industry so Oracle Lines of Business can invite them to compete in the procurement process.   Additionally, the Supplier Diversity Team recently partnered with Oracle’s Diversity Ambassador Program (ODAP) to develop an online learning pathway to further raise awareness of the program and encourage engagement within the Lines of Business.  

How we are supporting small and diverse suppliers?

Oracle is a member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and Tech:Scale. These memberships provide access to a database of certified suppliers Oracle can invite to compete in upcoming sourcing events and provide opportunities to network and learn from other program managers.

A Success Story

Last year the Real Estate and Facilities team needed to renew their contract for generator services at three Bay Area facilities in Northern California.  Generators are a critical piece of infrastructure as they provide emergency backup power for life safety systems and critical operations data centers.  Real Estate and Facilities and Procurement reached out to the Supplier Diversity team to request help in locating small and diverse suppliers that they could invite to compete for Oracle’s business.  The Supplier Diversity Team provided a short list of qualified companies for consideration. One of the suppliers impressed the Procurement and Real Estate and Facilities team with their innate understanding of the system, their proactive preventative maintenance plans, and very competitive pricing.  As a result, they were selected and awarded the business.  The Real Estate and Facilities team reports that they have been providing an exemplary level of service to ensure that the facilities’ generators are always well maintained and ready to activate whenever a power outage occurs. The Real Estate and Facilities team described the process of working with the Supplier Diversity Program team as an easy one that enabled them to find an exceptional supplier that they would otherwise likely not have found to include in their bidding process.

For more details on diversity and inclusion at Oracle, visit: and to learn more about the Supplier Diversity Program and to contact the Supplier Diversity Team, visit:



* Bateman, A., Barrington, A., & Date, K. (2020, August 17). Why You Need a Supplier-Diversity Program. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from

Kimberly Reese

Sr. Project Manager, Procurement Program Management Office

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