London – October 2016: The WEConnect International European Conference returns 16th-17th November 2016, now with an extra day dedicated to supply chain inclusion within large corporations.
The Supplier Diversity Forum, which will take place on the second day of the conference, will focus specifically on women-owned businesses. During the two-day conference, WEConnect International invites some of the world’s largest corporations, along with women-owned businesses, to explore supplier diversity and corporate social responsibility.
The WEConnect International European Supplier Diversity Forum provides a platform for both large businesses and SMEs to discuss the benefits of a diverse supplier base, providing useful insights that can be shared with internal procurement teams and information to engage first tier supply partners.
By providing a space for discussion, WEConnect International hopes to increase awareness among large corporations and increase inclusivity, ultimately forming powerful partnerships that will benefit businesses of all sizes and strengthen the British economy.
Research suggests that 900,000 more businesses would be created if the UK achieved the same level of female entrepreneurship as in the US, resulting in an additional £23 billion gross value added to the British economy.
Access to corporate and public sector procurement opportunities remain imbalanced for women-owned enterprises, creating barriers to success, which WEConnect International aims to break down by campaigning for fair and equal access to corporate and public-sector procurement opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.
WEConnect International work with multi-nationals and government departments who recognise the benefits of widening access to their supply chains, and women-owned business who want to connect with corporates and demonstrate their value to large corporations.
Maggie Berry, WEConnect International Executive Director for Europe said: “Through both the conference and the forum, we’re looking to further the supplier diversity agenda here in Europe by helping multi-national corporations to understand the benefits of buying from diverse and women-owned businesses.
“The WEConnect International global network of women-owned businesses includes a wide range of SMEs providing corporate and B2B products and services and this event offers a fabulous opportunity for them to get connected to buyers within the corporate world.”
Miriam Dervan, CEO of mdgroup, a certified women-owned business, said: “The diversity forum aims to open the eyes of other companies and corporations, to the value and significance of working with women-owned businesses. It can be a struggle for women-owned SMEs to be taken seriously and it is important we demonstrate the wealth of skills we have to offer at WEConnect International.
“Diversifying the supply chain shouldn’t just be about ticking boxes, it’s about furthering growth in the diversity market whilst gaining immense benefit for both the women-owned companies WEConnect International supports and the bigger organisations who use our services.”
Michael Robinson, IBM Global Supplier Diversity Program Director, said: “Diversity goes beyond fair hiring practices and protection for all employees. It also includes a focus on how those disparate pieces fit together to create an innovative, integrated whole. We call this approach inclusion.
“Three basic principles underscore IBM’s ongoing commitment to diversity—its workforce, customer base and supply chain. Building and maintaining a community of diverse suppliers increases opportunity to explore new ideas, apply different approaches and gain access to additional solutions that respond to customer needs.’
WEConnect International in Europe is the leading global supplier diversity initiative spearheading the connection of women-owned business and multinational corporations.
The WEConnect International Conference and Supplier Diversity Forum is hosted by IBM and sponsored by a range of global leaders, including Intel, Accenture, and Monsanto and more. For more information on the event, visit the WEConnect International website.
To register attendance, visit http://www.weconnecteurope.org/event/weconnect-international-europe-conference-2016
Please contact MBerry@weconnectinternational.org for all enquiries relating to WEConnect International.