For several decades, Penn has intentionally worked to increase its supplier diversity spending. That has meant encouraging the leaders within the University and the Health System to do all they can to connect with and support local, minority, LGBT, and women-owned businesses when buying anything—from medical and scientific materials to services like construction, information technology, and catering.
Strides have certainly been made, with Penn increasing its spending with businesses in West and Southwest Philadelphia since 2004 by 125%; with diverse suppliers by 240%; and nearly tripling spending with Black-owned businesses. But there is always more to be done.
“Can we do more? Must we do more? Yes we can, and yes we will,” said President Amy Gutmann during Wednesday’s Supplier Diversity Forum and Expo. “We have a long way to go to close gaps in wealth and opportunity.”