At Toyota Motor North America, there is an emphasis on supporting under served communities; and company leadership has sought to develop both short-term and long-term strategies for addressing the uneven outcomes and structural disparities facing many Americans.
Among a host of efforts that focus on long-term, structural change, TMNA’s Supplier Diversity program has been designed to “generate business opportunities that position diverse entrepreneurs for economic sustainability.” For decades, Toyota has focused on developing a robust and diverse supplier base with a series of processes that include support for professional development, resources for building capacity, and a host of networking activities that allow underrepresented and minority business owners the opportunity to develop business relationships with other companies.
- Start at the top with your executives and senior-level staff. Once leadership and senior-level staff are bought in, the momentum will carry the program forward.
- Keep your message simple. A simple message allows for more direct buy-in and will inspire people to own that message for themselves and want to participate in expanding the message into the community.
- Diversity initiatives should entail more than just a single program or an individual metric. Talk to employees and learn from their experiences. Challenge leadership to continually think of new ways to bring a culture of diversity and inclusion into practice in as many ways as possible.