The ConnXion Point Blog

What does a Supplier Diversity Manager do, look for from suppliers?

No Comments   Bookmark and Share

by ConnXus on January 23, 2013

Supplier Diversity is an emerging way for large corporations to save money, spur innovation and competition and grow the economy.

Supplier Diversity Managers take on a variation of tasks, depending on their company’s goals. At their core, Suppler Diversity Managers oversee programs that support the diverse businesses that supply a large company.

As the phrase implies, Diverse Suppliers are many, and can include:

  • Minority and women-owned businesses
  • Veteran owned-businesses
  • LGBT-owned businesses and more

We’ve interviewed several Supplier Diversity Managers, who’ve shared insights about what they do, and how small businesses can join their supplier diversity programs. Pamela Coleman, Senior Director, Supplier Diversity and Sustainability for Cintas Corporation in Cincinnati, spoke about her work for America’s largest uniform supplier.

Among the qualities she looks for in a diverse supplier?

We look for overall value – cost, quality, safety, lead time, turnaround – all are important factors. We look for people who understand our business and can solve problems for us or offer innovative solutions.

In an interview with De Asa Nichols Brown, Supplier Diversity Program Manager, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, she told ConnXus what she seeks in Diverse Suppliers.

Suppliers who understand our mission, our value proposition, who possess the same character, integrity and vision of Cincinnati Children’s. We try to identify the best suppliers in a space, making sure we do our due diligence to find those suppliers. For our diverse suppliers, they need to be certified. If we have a contract opportunity, and find that we haven’t identified diverse suppliers in that particular area, we’ll reach out to external resources to see if we can locate an MWBE that could be considered.

ConnXus is a web-based service that helps businesses locate, evaluate and engage small, woman- and minority-owned businesses. Our clients are primarily large corporations, construction firms and others for whom supplier diversity is a key business goal and. If you’re looking to grow your business take a look at what has to offer.

ConnXus helps grow small, woman- and minority-owned businesses by connecting them to Fortune 2000 corporations seeking a competitive edge through supplier diversity. Learn more at

Posted in: About, Ask the CDO, ConnXus Membership Benefits, Direct Diversity Spend, Diversity Spend, Help Diverse Suppliers, Supplier Diversity, Tips for Small Businesses, Tips for Start-Up Businesses, Tips for Supplier Diversity Managers, Tips for Veteran-Owned Businesses, Tips for Women-Owned Businesses

Leave a Reply


Subscribe to the Blog!


Rod Robinson

The ConnXion Point is the blog for, an online service connecting small, minority- and woman-owned businesses with companies seeking to hire diverse suppliers.

I'm Rod Robinson, founder and chief connector of I've spent 15 years in the procurement business as a minority business owner, company procurement officer and industry consultant.

The ConnXion Point will focus on issues, events and news about procurement and supplier diversity. So, whether you're purchasing or selling, we'll have information you can use. We also hope to facilitate a healthy, respectful exchange of viewpoints on issues surrounding supplier diversity and procurement.

» Join the conversation!