How CBRE opens doors for Diverse Suppliers with continuous encouragement, communication, and collaboration
Nadine Shah, CBRE Sr. Strategic Sourcing Manager and CAMSC’s Procurement Business Advocate of the Year Award winner, says the award is truly a testament to CBRE’s commitment to Supplier Diversity.
CBRE is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment company, operating on the belief that communication and collaboration are critical to building awareness and providing opportunities for underrepresented groups.
Shah says this focus on Supplier Diversity is critical to achieving their goals and aspirations of becoming a world-class organization. It enables CBRE to assist their clients in meeting their supplier goals and facilitating the success of diverse suppliers and driving economic impact and empowerment in both underrepresented communities and in the communities that we live and work.
As part of their long-term strategy for increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion internally and throughout their supply chain, CBRE launched an online web portal for diverse suppliers to register their businesses, at no cost. This portal gives suppliers access to the entire buying community within CBRE.
“What they’re asking for is just an opportunity to participate, and this is what we can do. And I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Last year, CBRE announced a pledge to spend a minimum of $1 billion with diverse suppliers in 2021—increasing that spend to $3 billion within five years. By reaching these goals, CBRE will substantially increase engagement and partnerships with businesses that are certified and owned by underrepresented groups like Indigenous people, women, veterans, people in the LGBT+ community, and people with disabilities.
Shah says that more corporate professionals should commit to assessing their current supply chains to validate and confirm whether or not they work with diverse suppliers, identify existing diverse suppliers, and creating a target goal to increase the diverse suppliers’ spend. Organizations can make progress—not just for their own benefit, but for underrepresented communities and the world at large—by continually educating all levels of the organization, reaching out to diversity councils like CAMSC, and taking advantage of networking opportunities with other suppliers who share similar goals.
“It’s amazing what CAMSC brings,” she says. “I’ve always seen them as a conduit, bringing both communities together—the supplier community and the corporate members. One is looking to procure products and the other is looking to sell. We need that collaboration and communication with each other.”
CAMSC’s networking events, webinars, and matchmaking expositions have proven to be valuable opportunities to encourage this collaborative communication, especially between diverse and non-diverse vendors. Shah says the education and resources provided by CAMSC have helped show non-diverse suppliers how they can engage with diverse suppliers when unable to provide a product or service themselves. Through resources like this, CBRE has seen their supplier community become more diverse, due to the increased opportunities to show what they bring to the table.
“When I say I’m blessed, I truly mean it. We have such talented, diverse suppliers out there. It’s just a matter of bringing awareness to corporate members to see the value proposition they bring,” Shah says.
“I’m truly passionate about diversity and excited to continue doing my part to help facilitate the growth of Indigenous and minority-owned businesses.”
With the passion and commitment to education, communication, and collaboration that Shah brings to CBRE’s procurement and Supplier Diversity program, there is no question as to why she deserves to be this year’s CAMSC Procurement Business Advocate of the Year Award winner.