At the annual Race for Opportunity Awards dinner on 4 October, MITIE was one of a small group of top companies that were recognised for the excellent work they have done in creating equal, diverse and inclusive workplaces.
MITIE was presented with an award for the good practice it has shown in influencing diversity in its supply chain.
In 2010, a strategic decision was taken by MITIE’s board to embed diversity within the supply chain, as part of the business’ corporate sustainability strategy and commitment to ethical business practices.
To identify the best approach, a pilot project was set up in partnership with strategic suppliers, clients and external organisations. MITIE implemented a mentoring and knowledge transfer programme, for diverse suppliers that at the same time created a dynamic cultural shift amongst its internal supply chain teams.
The pilot project brought about some exceptional results and showed best practice in how to embed diversity in a supply chain:
· MITIE surveyed its supply base to create a benchmark for measuring on-going success. 84% of its supply base were considered to be SMEs of which 16% were considered diverse at the time of the initial audit;
· The MITIE supply chain team then simplified the procurement process to three steps, reducing entry barriers for diverse suppliers;
· Several workshops were conducted with diverse suppliers advising and assisting them on our procurement processes. This helped to build their internal capacity to pursue new and bigger business opportunities with MITIE and other large companies;
· MITIE exceeded its annual target in just eight months, incorporating in excess of 150 diverse suppliers into its supplier base, spending circa £3m with them in that period;
· MITIE aligned a number of diverse suppliers with some of its strategic clients and key suppliers to ensure the further development of business opportunities.
Susan Watson, one of the judges for this category commented:
“MITIE impressed the judges with its strategic approach to embedding diversity within its supply chain, simplifying the procurement process, engaging and supporting a highly diverse pool of suppliers and ultimately reaping financial reward as a result. It has demonstrated that senior leadership commitment from the highest level can enable progress to be made very quickly.”
Ruby McGregor-Smith, Chief Executive of MITIE and also the outgoing Chair for Race for Opportunity said:
“The Race for Opportunity Awards programme recognises excellent practice in organisations working to create equal, diverse and inclusive workplaces, with a particular emphasis on race. Many congratulations to the organisations that entered the programme and in particular to those who won or were highly commended.”
Other notable winners at the awards included Deloitte, Thomson Reuters, Pearson, Ernst and Young, Google and Transport for London.