The Real Benefits of Diversity in Life Sciences

A Forbes study of 321 large global enterprises showed that at least 85% of CEOs cited diversity as crucial to driving innovation. Businesses across all sectors are discovering the wide-ranging benefits of supporting diversity in their workforces and supply chains.

For the life sciences and healthcare industries, however, diversity is an even more pressing concern, with even more benefits: clinical research changes lives, and with a diverse group of innovative thinkers at its helm, the healthcare industry can drive change like never before.

As a proud woman-owned business with over 15 years in the life sciences industry, we’ve experienced the benefits of diversity first-hand, offering our clients a fresh perspective while working with an ever-broadening pool of talented suppliers.

Here are just a few reasons why diverse procurement stands to benefit the life sciences industry, from individual businesses to the common goals of clinical research.

Innovative partnerships

Diversity is the obvious answer to the current gap between available workers and the skills required by employers. Many buyers find themselves procuring suppliers who don’t quite fit the bill, simply due to the lack of options. By taking advantage of a wider, diverse talent pool, companies can discover whole new depths of skill and ensure that they’re connecting with the best of the best.

Furthermore, by specifically partnering with woman-owned or minority-owned businesses, companies can take advantage of novel viewpoints and fresh drive. In many cases, members of minority groups will have faced discrimination, and will have had to work extra hard to achieve throughout their lives.

While this is exactly what diverse procurement is attempting to combat, procuring from suppliers who have had to work hard and overcome prejudice can open your company culture to new levels of motivation, sensitivity, team dynamics and problem-solving.

New market areas

Diversity doesn’t just open your business up to new ideas - it also opens up new market areas, improving a company’s financial performance.

Swapping some tried-and-tested suppliers for diverse players could give you access to a whole new procurement chain, allowing you to network with key players and tap into market areas that you may otherwise have been cut off from.

Businesses who are proud of their diversity often inspire and appeal to buyers and clients from a similar background. They may even belong to diversity-driven networks, such as the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, or the National Minority Supplier Development Council.

By working with a supplier who has such affiliations, you can begin to interact with whole new worlds of highly professional buyers and suppliers, giving your business an edge over competitors who stick to what they know.

Integrity and meritocracy

One of the biggest misunderstandings about the drive for diversity is the idea that it creates an uneven playing field, in which skilled suppliers will be overlooked in favour of fulfilling a diversity quotient. The truth, however, couldn’t be more different.

Diversity drives an environment in which employees of all backgrounds are able to demonstrate their full value, recognised for their contributions rather than their gender, age, ability or nationality. This high-performance culture means that hard work and bright ideas are the only deciding factors when it comes to pay and promotion.

In order to create this ideal environment, however, we need to support diverse suppliers as they take their first steps. Far from creating an uneven playing field, the current drive for diversity is taking the first steps to create truly equal opportunities for all who choose to work for them.

All hands on deck

Beyond individual business goals, the life sciences industry is about working together to combat life-changing chronic illnesses. Bearing that in mind, it is our duty to broaden our horizons and include as wide a talent pool as possible in our procurement dealings.

By buying from a woman-owned or minority-owned business, we are developing our industry in such a way that more and more people will benefit from it in future generations. This means that every new perspective is invaluable.

Minority groups are often just as likely, if not more so, to be affected by chronic illnesses. For example, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death amongst US women. It is therefore important to see women represented throughout the industries working to combat this disease, offering new drive and determination as well as innovative ideas.

If you’re interesting in expanding your horizons and supporting a diverse range of suppliers, check out the Diversity Alliance for Science West Coast Conference or get in touch with us today.