Learn why Genentech's Diverse Supplier Mentoring program is a win for suppliers, Genentech and society.
A diverse supplier is defined as a U.S.-based company whose ownership is more than 51% Black/African American-, Hispanic/Latinx-, Asian-, Native American/Alaska Native-, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander-, woman-, veteran-, disability- or LGBTQ+-owned. Though such diverse suppliers exist across all industries and business functions, their growth is often unfairly stunted by negative myths that they are either in short supply or provide inferior quality work. Genentech is committed to changing this narrative.
Marcell Haywood is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Encompass, a Black-owned facilities services company that creates solutions to help clients run their businesses more efficiently. But as with many small, diverse suppliers, his limited access and exposure to the opaque process of pitching large organizations was a challenge and led to lost business opportunities.
Similarly, Jennifer Willey, founder and CEO at Wet Cement, a women- and disability-owned consulting business, knew that her firm's holistic, Diversity & Inclusion-centered approach could benefit many companies but struggled to get call-backs.
Their prospects notably improved when they met Brian Ziskie, Head Procurement Partnering - Workplace and Supplier Diversity, who invited both Jennifer and Marcell to join Genentech's Supplier Diversity Mentorship Program, which equips diverse suppliers with the insights on how to compete and win business with larger corporations like Genentech.
Ziskie, as Haywood's mentor, has helped the entrepreneur with everything from accessing top vendors to building compelling pitches, saving Haywood valuable time and money, and improving his access to resources and business opportunities to further grow his business.
"Generally, small, diverse companies build a highly competitive set of capabilities, but haven't always had the time to deeply understand the needs of potential corporate partners or how to best tell their own story. The mentorship program addresses both. It's been transformational."
Marcell Haywood Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Encompass
Willey's mentor in the program is Nick Spikes, the Executive Director and Head of Strategy and Business Operations at Genentech's South San Francisco campus. Spikes' insights have resulted in Willey adjusting Wet Cement's positioning and cracking the code of supplier portals.
"The program bridges the gap between diverse suppliers and Genentech leaders, which is critical for growth since connecting with companies is a top challenge for small and diverse businesses," says Willey.
Through programs like this, Genentech aims to demonstrate our commitment to transforming society by spending $1 billion annually with diverse suppliers by 2025, and cultivating a diverse supplier pool that brings the broadest range of perspectives to the work that we do.