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Bettina Clark, president of Alfa Electronics, gives her opinions on supplier diversity and invites the views of others in the industry

Alfa Electronics’ senior team

When I was asked to write an article on supplier diversity for Electronics Sourcing magazine, I was excited and couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this topic that was so important to me

personally. Electronics Sourcing reaches almost every electronic component purchasing professional in the USA and had never before addressed the topic of supplier diversity. This was a way to reach so many professionals in the industry that have heard the term, or maybe even been encouraged to explore supplier diversity, but had not been able to grasp its full meaning and importance.

Although I have been in the electronic component industry

since 1984 and a woman­owned business since 2006, it was a long time before I really understood the impact of supplier diversity on our social and economic culture. It was not until I became WBENC certified in 2010 that I truly appreciated the value of supplier diversity. It is one thing to understand what diversity is and your company may have a diversity program or initiative, but what does it really mean for our national

10 | February 2014

economy, local economy, our company and for us personally? Is it just a ‘social responsibility’ or is there really value on every level from supporting supplier diversity. My goal in writing this article was to help readers to better understand that supplier diversity is important on every level.

I have nothing at all against the large corporate companies;

after all, many small businesses eventually become large corporations, then themselves support supplier diversity and therefore continue the cycle to grow the economy, which is the purpose of supplier diversity. Supplier diversity inspires innovation, competition, new solutions, new jobs and ultimately economic growth.

In our ever­growing, fast­paced and ever­improving industry

of electronics, diversity is becoming more and more of a focus. As diversity initiatives and mandates started to grow, it was important to develop a certification process for diversity companies. Our industry understands and supports the importance of supplier diversity and my purchasing professionals are tasked with finding qualified diverse suppliers that will add value to their existing supply chain, not take over their existing one. Sometimes, integrating diversity into the current supply channel can be challenging, but when done effectively it is very rewarding.


Photo: Isabella Clark

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