TD Bank: Supplier diversity program creates a level playing field

Many of TD Bank’s suppliers are diverse, but the bank isn’t resting on its laurels.

In 2009, when TD began its expansion into the U.S., the company began to examine supplier diversity from an American perspective, where it was a well-established practice. “We developed our program in consultation with other financial institutions and organizations that had supplier diversity programs in place so we could learn from them,” explains Marcia Seymour, Senior Manager, Procurement Corporate Responsibility.

Launched on November 1, 2011, TD’s North American Supplier Diversity Program works to include women, visible minorities, aboriginals, LGBT and other minority groups in its supply chain. Led by the bank’s Strategic Sourcing Group, TD is a corporate partner with certifying organizations including the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council, WEConnect and the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (which certify minority, women and LGBT-owned businesses in Canada), and the U.S.-based National Minority Supplier Development Council, Women Business Enterprise National Council and  the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Seymour said that as TD integrated the program into their existing sourcing process, they were pleased to discover that they were, in fact, on their way. “We found that we were already doing it,” she says. “Creating the best supplier resources for the bank meant that several of our top, long-term suppliers were already diverse.”

Yet TD is looking at ways to further strengthen their program, by creating even more opportunities for diverse companies to become part of TD’s supply chain. For example, they are working one-on-one with suppliers. “We’re having discussions designed to help them respond more effectively to requests for proposal, and what it takes to meet the needs of a large organization like ours,” explains Seymour.

TD is also looking at developing the supply chain of the future. “For instance,” she continues, “Our small business bankers are taking part in educational events for small and medium-sized businesses. We want to see more and more diverse firms have these kinds of opportunities.”

Above all, Seymour says, “It takes time to create awareness, to develop resources, to learn, and to build relationships.” Yet there is good reason to remain positive.  “We are pleased to see the progress that’s been made this year, and to know that an understanding of the value of supplier diversity is really starting to grow.”

In their own words: TD Bank Group believes that diversity is a key contributor to success in the global marketplace. TD’s Supplier Diversity Program focuses on creating a level playing field for suppliers certified as being minority owned and who are interested in providing goods and services to TD Bank Group. Source: TD