Inclusion, Equity and Diversity Improves Recruitment and Retention in Supply Chain: Study

When IE&D is implemented effectively, nearly three-fourths (73%) of supply chain managers report their company outperforms competitors.

Sergey Nivens Adobe Stock 29284204
Sergey Nivens AdobeStock_29284204

When inclusion, equity and diversity (IE&D) is implemented effectively, nearly three-fourths (73%) of supply chain managers report their company outperforms competitors, according to a new report from the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), SHRM and the SHRM Foundation.

Furthermore, more than three-quarters of HR professionals at companies with effective IE&D said they experienced low turnover and that employees at those companies were more likely to recommend their company’s supply chain department as a “great place to work.”  

"Inclusion, equity, and diversity are not just moral imperatives; they are strategic advantages in supply chain management. An inclusive approach fosters a sense of belonging and commitment among all stakeholders, from employees to suppliers, which can significantly improve morale and productivity,” says Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO, SHRM. “IE&D together make supply chains more adaptable and responsive to changes in the global market, ultimately leading to better customer service and stronger competitive positioning.” 


Key takeaways:


  • According to the report, 62% of supply chain managers and 54% of HR professionals from companies with supply chain departments say their company has IE&D initiatives. Yet, when asked how effective they believe their company is at achieving IE&D-related progress within their supply chain staff or department, only 29% of supply chain managers and 20% of HR professionals rate their company as very effective. 
  • Ineffective IE&D plays a large role in supply chain employees’ likelihood to leave their company, especially among women and workers of color. 
  • Those who feel their company is not effective at making IE&D-related progress in their department are 4.5 times more likely to say they often feel burned out. Women are six times more and workers of color are 10 times more likely to say they often felt like they wanted to quit within the past six months. 
  • While large and publicly traded-for-profit companies with supply chain departments are the most likely to have IE&D initiatives, the quality of these programs lags behind others.  
  • Companies rated as being very effective at IE&D have initiatives that span more than twice the number of business areas than those that are not effective. 
  • Companies are three times more likely to be very effective at achieving IE&D-related progress when supply chain leaders are held accountable for these achievements. 

“Strengthening IE&D initiatives is essential to developing and retaining exceptional talent, which can result in more resilient supply chains,” says ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi. “When organizations do the opposite—scale back or eliminate IE&D — it leaves them vulnerable to staff shortages, resignations, and production delays, ultimately hurting the bottom line. Business leaders must involve all departments in IE&D strategy planning and encourage company-wide prioritization of IE&D.”