By Bashar Cholagh
Bashar Cholagh is head of supplier diversity development, Stellantis North America
A key competitive differentiator of Stellantis’ commitment to diversity continues to be our leadership in providing new opportunities to grow diverse suppliers, including certified minority-, women-, veteran-, LGBTQ+- and disability-owned businesses.
In fact, since 1983, the company has spent more than $100 billion with diverse-owned suppliers and nearly $7.5 billion in North America last year with this same group of suppliers.
Stellantis is proud of this extraordinary record and our team’s commitment to sustain our position as a corporate leader promoting the best values of supplier diversity; in effect, sharing our success to empower diverse communities.
Recognition by others furthers our dedication, making our successes even more meaningful. Recently, DiversityInc ranked Stellantis No. 3 out of 2,100 companies on its 2022 Top Companies for Supplier Diversity specialty list. We moved up five points from our position on the 2021 list.
This is a remarkable achievement, reflecting our team’s focus on advancing the conversation on diversity beyond aspirational statements to the pursuit of outcomes that have a tangible and sustainable economic impact in diverse communities.
In addition to DiversityInc, some of our recent supplier diversity accomplishments include:
- President’s Award from the National Veterans Business Development Council
- Corporation of the Year Award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council
- Benchmark Corporation of the Year recognition from Rainbow Push Coalition
- Best-in-Class Award from the Great Lakes Women Business Council
- Top Corporation Gold Award from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
- President’s Award from the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council
Most importantly, despite our team’s many successes, we remain highly motivated to continue to find innovative ways to take our commitment to diverse suppliers to exciting new levels.
For instance, in 2021, Stellantis launched the National Black Supplier Development Program in partnership with the National Business League, an automotive industry first.
At scale, the program is expected to support business opportunities and development for millions of Black-owned businesses in the U.S. and internationally.
We launched the pilot of this industry-leading program in October 2021 with 13 Black-owned businesses, representing geographic diversity and a range of disciplines and commodities.
The participants graduated in February 2022 with many of them either securing or being considered for contracts on some of Stellantis’ most important marketing projects and vehicle programs, including work on Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Durango and Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer marketing programs.
Stellantis’ commitment to diverse suppliers is central to the company’s Dare Forward 2030 business strategy, contributing to the company being an extraordinary place to work and a magnet for people with the talent and drive to improve the lives of customers today and in the digital and electrified future.
The success of our supplier diversity program is best expressed by our minority supplier partners:
President & CEO, V2Soft Group of Companies
Stellantis has been a leader in supplier diversity for decades. They have always supported V2Soft in good and bad times. Even during the pandemic, Stellantis continued to conduct its annual MatchMaker event that has helped us to connect with its large Tier 1 suppliers to gain business and revenue directly. The other most important thing is the executives who are assigned to drive this and who truly believe in diversity and inclusion, such as Scott Thiele and Bashar Cholagh, who work relentlessly to truly help minority business enterprises (MBE).
Director of Accounts, Kyyba
The supplier diversity team at Stellantis has been a tremendous support to Kyyba over the past few years and beyond. One of the most notable attributes of the team is their responsiveness and commitment to engagement in helping their MBEs develop. Through the supplier diversity team’s mentorship, Kyyba has been able to sharpen our pitch, target appropriate customers and gain valuable meetings with key decision makers.
Stellantis’ commitment to diverse suppliers is central to the company’s Dare Forward business strategy, contributing to the company being an extraordinary place to work and a magnet for people with the talent and drive to improve the lives of customers today and in the digital and electrified future.
Our team remains focused and engaged to continue to innovate in the supplier diversity space, and this commitment will continue to empower diverse people and communities and fuel our company’s success.