Logitech’s head of indirect, David Latten, has laid down a bold challenge for the procurement profession to foster gender equality through supplier bases.
On the eve of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2023, Latten (in an article with Supply Chain Brain) highlights that while many companies have achieved significant progress on environmental commitments, progress towards gender equality since the pandemic is lacking.
“Leading companies all know what their aspirational environmental goals are, but if you ask them when they’re going to be gender equal, few would be able to give a definitive answer,” he told the publication.
“Currently, for most companies, only about 6% of their spend is with diverse suppliers. That leaves a huge untapped opportunity with the other 94% of the supply base.”
A global movement for equality in procurement
Latten said Logitech was working to influence suppliers to commit to equality with the same focus and energy they put on environmental objectives.
Logitech was one of the founding organisations behind The Coalition for Gender Fair Procurement, an alliance seeking to promote Gender Fairness which is based on the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles. The organisations currently involved are responsible for $15 billion in spend and there’s ambitions to grow to attract more organisations and reach $100 billion in spend value by next year.
The coalition is driving corporations to start requiring their large suppliers to report and improve on gender equality in a similar way as is done for compliance and cybersecurity.
Gender fair assessments for suppliers
Latten says the coalition members have approached high-impact suppliers and asked them to take a gender fair assessment and create an action plan.
“We want our suppliers to work with us to help create a more equal society, and this is a great lever to make that happen,” he said.
Latten says it’s time to double down on diversity.
“Our current economy (and the threat of impending recession) creates a temptation for CEOs to abandon diversity and inclusion goals as they focus on navigating the tough times that lie ahead,” he said.
“But this is the wrong approach. In fact, it’s time to double down on gender equality.”