Networking. It’s tough to get out there. But that’s exactly what busy Astra WBEs do. They SHOW UP. Showing up is an important part of Astra’s 2013 theme – Game Changers – Show Up. Grow. Win. When Team Astra was developing the theme earlier this year the original creative used the term “play” v. “show up”. Wisely, Suzanne Lackman, Vice President and Co-Founder of Astra said, “No. That messaging is wrong. We don’t play at business. We show up and work hard.” Take a moment and meet Cecelia McCloy, President of Integrated Science Solutions and find out why she is part of the WBENC Astra network .
As of March 31st, 2012, Astra (WBENC) WBEs employ 20,768 people and are generating over $4 billion dollars annually in revenue. Women-owned businesses in the West are thriving. As a regional network our reach is wide. Located in 6 states, 33% of Astra’s WBEs describe themselves as ethnically diverse. Working together,we make a big impact in our region.
As diverse businesses, WBEs, can further boost the network by establishing and implementing their own Supplier Diversity Program. Astra is often asked, “What are best practices for developing a Supplier Diversity Program?” Here are a few simple recommendations:
Be committed. A diversity program can be part of your organization’s overall strategic plan. If you haven’t already done it, just add a diversity pledge to your company’s core values & mention it in the “About Us” section of your website.
Be Specific. Determine your level of commitment. As a WBENC WBE, you already are committed to diversity. Take a minute and document your goals as a part of your budgeting process.
Be Accountable. Do a quick review. You are probably already buying from diverse suppliers. Simply write down how you can capture, monitor & report your diversity spend. This is easy to include in your policy & procedures handbook.
Be Visible. In addition, to displaying your WBENC badge, add a link to your diversity pledge & include “stories” in your company’s messaging. Remember to report your Done Deals or nominate your best customer for an “Advocacy Award” by completing the form below.
The Astra Done Deals™ program strives to highlight the companies who have supplier diversity initiatives to redirect a portion of their corporate spend each year to qualified women and minority companies. The firms who receive the Done Deals™ award have provided at least 3 contracts during a year to Astra women business owners. In 2011, Astra recognizes, Microsoft, AT&T, Amgen, Brocade, and Robert Half International their Done Deals™
“Women-owned businesses serve as one of the major engines of our country for economic growth and job creation. In the Astra region alone, women contribute over $5 Billion dollars to our economy and employ more than 19,000 employees who then support their local communities with their employee spend for consumer goods and services” says Astra co-founder and President/CEO, Diane McClelland.
Additionally, Astra women business owners were recognized for their efforts to outsource to other women business owners and build strategic alliances among other women for capacity-building. In 2011, Suchi Gupta, Pure Design Solutions received the Astra WBE Done Deals™ Award and Karen Hebert Gordon, The Oya Group and Laura Bergerson, The Bergerson Group received the inaugural Astra Strategic Alliance award.