Next week, the WBENC network will come together at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada for the National Conference & Business Fair, the largest conference of its kind for women business owners in the U.S. We will be looking back at memorable milestones and leaders from the past 20 years as well as looking to a future full of endless possibilities for us to advance the vision and mission of WBENC.
One of our National Conference & Business Fair Corporate Member Presenting Sponsors, Farryn Melton, Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at Bristol-Myers Squibb, shares how she has observed WBENC and the marketplace grow over the years, and what we can do together to continue to lead the development of women business leaders across the nation.
Q: As our numbers of Certified WBEs has grown to more than 14,000, we expect a record-breaking attendance at this year’s conference. Can you speak to the enduring value of an inclusive supply chain and the value of WBENC Certification?
A: At Bristol-Myers Squibb, we value the entire global diversity & inclusion continuum. This means we promote an inclusive internal culture that respects and appreciates differences, and we apply the same inclusive behaviors throughout our supply chain. After all, our suppliers become extensions of our internal teams, partnering to discover, develop, and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. We see firsthand how diverse suppliers bring value and make our organization stronger, delivering innovative ways to solve complex needs in our ever-changing environment.
WBENC Certification is extremely important in upholding the integrity of our supplier diversity program and we salute and appreciate the steps WBENC has taken to digitize its processes making it easier for WBEs to certify their businesses.
Q: The National Conference & Business Fair has a lot of dynamic programming and networking opportunities. What is your favorite part of the event—and why?
A: Let me provide two, as it is very difficult to isolate one particular area as WBENC produces such a quality conference. I am extremely honored and proud to serve on the WBENC Board of Directors, and attending the board meetings during the WBENC NCBF with such talented and dedicated executives is inspiring. I get to witness how our work positively impacts WBENC and subsequently the corporate and WBE partners. Walking the tradeshow floor and learning about the innovative products and services from WBEs is another energizing part of the conference.
Q: In an organization as large as Bristol-Myers Squibb, leadership can take many forms. How have you been an advocate for women leaders over the years? Has it changed as you’ve grown as a leader?
A: As a female executive, it is only natural that I support women leaders. In fact, if you look across my global procurement organization you will find women throughout various positions, including my senior leadership team. I also mentor women within our organization; I support organizations such as WBENC, and as a mom, wife, and corporate executive, I ensure our female colleagues balance work with their personal lives.
As I have grown as a leader, my passion to empower women professionals has also grown, and I am proud to be part of an organization such as Bristol-Myers Squibb that supports my passion.
Learn more about NCBF Co-Chairs and all our sponsors at conf.wbenc.org.