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| Written by Marie Johnson, CMP

Top 3 Benefits of Partnering with a Women-Owned Business

Originally published on April 23, 2020. Updated on March 8, 2023, and on February 19, 2024.

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide (M&IW) is honored to be a trusted certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the WBDC-Chicago, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) for more than ten years. Owned by sisters Jean Johnson and Tina Madden, M&IW is committed to a diverse work environment that backs its words with accountable actions.

“We first received our WBE certification in 2013, and the value of this certification continues to prove itself not only for M&IW but also for our current and future customers committed to supplier diversity programs,” said Jean Johnson, Chief People Officer.

Supplier diversity programs encourage partnering with organizations that are at least 51% owned or operated by a traditionally underrepresented or underserved group, including women. The 2022 State of Supplier Diversity Report showed that investments in such programs continue to grow; 21% of reported programs were less than one year old, the highest level of new program formation since the reports began in 2017. The 2023 State of Supplier Diversity Report revealed that 97% of organizations had consistent or improved executive support for supplier diversity programs compared to years prior. Learn more about implementing and assessing a supplier diversity program here.

Top Three Benefits of a Supplier Diversity Program

While there are many benefits of working with diverse suppliers, there are three that stand out as being the most impactful to a business’s bottom line.

1. The Federal Government Offers Tax Incentives

Partnering with diverse and minority-owned suppliers, including WBENC-certified organizations, provides many tax incentives from the federal level. Not only does a business receive a tax break, but they also may be able to take advantage of reduced tax liabilities if minority vendors and suppliers are being used for federal or state-funded grants or loans. As a certified organization, we can provide you with all the information needed to leverage this opportunity.

2. Diverse Partners Can Increase Procurement Channels

Diverse suppliers have deep relationships with other vendors that may provide additional saving across your business. The strength of these relationships and their commitment to quality and innovation often leads to a tangible increase in savings and resources for obtaining goods and services.

3. Strategic Diversity Aligns Revenue and Economic Impact

Supplier diversity programs offer an impactful and marketable way to differentiate yourself from your competitors to shareholders, employees, and consumers, which may increase business opportunities. Diversity-leading organizations know they need leaders who both understand and reflect the needs of their customers. Women-owned businesses are also one of the fasted growing sectors of our economy. Showcasing your company’s commitment to doing business in diverse markets increases economic growth in many communities.

Why Diversity Matters to Us

Diversity at the Business Level

We live in a deeply connected and global world. It should come as no surprise that more diverse companies are achieving better performance. Additionally, as a certified WBE, we are dedicated to a supplier diversity strategy that seeks out and utilizes women- and minority-owned suppliers internally and within our customers’ events.

To help further our education and create connections that can benefit our customers, we attend the annual WBENC National Conference. Mae Ibe, CMP, Customer Success Director and Conference & Tradeshow Specialist, will be attending the 2024 conference being held March 19–22.

“I am looking forward to attending the largest conference event for women-owned businesses,” said Mae. “In addition to learning more about best practices and keeping up with the industry trends, this conference is especially valuable because of the opportunity to network with corporations that are focused on working with diverse suppliers. The connections made will not only advance a diverse supply chain but also expand business horizons for women-owned businesses like M&IW.”

Diversity at the Human Level

Within our company culture, M&IW has always striven to be inclusive. Strengthening those efforts with a focus on celebrating and supporting historically oppressed people is our newly renamed DEIB team, who released the below mission statement representing M&IW’s commitment:

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide is committed to building, sustaining, and retaining a diverse workforce and a company culture of encouragement, support, empowerment, and inclusion for all.

We are committed to creating events and experiences that positively impact a global and diverse audience and foster an environment with our partners that is welcoming and respectful for all.

M&IW recognizes we must maintain a collective family with a variety of backgrounds, skills, and views that channel each unique perspective: a place where we celebrate bringing our whole authentic self to work every day.