DEARBORN – In celebration of National Women’s History Month, Ford Motor Company today announced it increased its sourcing with Women’s Business Enterprise companies 50 percent last year, purchasing $1.8 billion in goods and services from tier-one, women-owned suppliers, up from $1.2 billion in 2012.
“For 36 years, Ford has been committed to working with a supply base that is both diverse and innovative,” said Birgit Behrendt, vice president, Ford global programs and purchasing operations. “Our women-owned suppliers bring an evolving perspective to the needs and wants of our customer base, which inevitably contributes to Ford’s continuous growth.”
Ford established its Supplier Diversity Development program in 1978 to empower diverse communities, including women, minorities and veterans. The goal is to help create wealth by fostering diversity across Ford’s supply chain – prompting consideration of Ford products among those who do business with the company.
Ford works with more than 150 women-owned suppliers, having done business with seven of these companies for more than 25 years. Ford also is celebrating 50 years of business with Roseville, Mich.-based Atlas Tool. Elizabeth Schmidt is owner and CEO of Atlas, which provides high-quality stamping dies to the stamping industry.
During the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s annual conference later this month, Atlas Tool, as nominated by Ford, will receive the council’s 2013 Women’s Business Enterprise Stars award. Additionally, Ford will be recognized for a third consecutive year as one of America’s Top Corporations for 2013. The award honors the company’s best-in-class practices to proactively integrate women-owned businesses into its supply chain at all levels. Ford was the first automaker to earn this honor in 2011.
“I salute Ford for its dedication to and investment in women-owned businesses,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, president and CEO of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. “Women business owners have become a driving force in today’s economic landscape, and with support from companies like Ford, their access to capital and other leadership opportunities will continue to increase.”
Ford’s Supplier Diversity Development program has invested more than $70 billion with women, minority and veteran suppliers since 1978. Ford’s goal is to source more than 10 percent of its annual $50 billion U.S. purchasing budget with diverse production and nonproduction suppliers..
The Supplier Diversity Development program has been recognized by numerous national organizations for its supplier diversity efforts including:
• 1988, 1998, 2001, 2012 National Minority Supplier Development Council Corporation of the Year
• 2010 DiversityInc magazine Top 10 Best Companies for Supplier Diversity
• 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council Corporation of the Year
• 2010 and 2013 Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce Corporation of the Year
• 2011, 2012, 2013 United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Million Dollar Club