We’re Excited to Have You At The Table: Summit & Salute Roundtable Roundup (Part One)

WBENC’s Summit & Salute is next week! Before you go, make sure to review the roundtable sessions. Besides giving you the chance to learn about industry trends and developments, we hope our roundtables will spark important conversations. These industry discussions are an excellent opportunity for you to weigh in on how to promote the success of women-owned businesses through the supply chain.

Our first roundtable roundup will showcase the energy and utilities; automotive and defense; technology; and the retail and food and beverage industries. The only downside is having to pick between so many worthwhile roundtable discussions!

 Check out the full Summit & Salute agenda here.



The energy sector is being transformed globally by consumer demand, energy policy and technological innovation. Energy companies face the challenge of meeting the needs of today’s customers while transforming into the business of tomorrow. WBEs who are able to meet these challenges will be best positioned for the opportunities now and into the future. Top Corporations in the capital intensive and highly regulated energy sector are driving best practices for diversity in their supply chains.

  • Sharing WBE success stories and building a strong internal commitment which drives the inclusion of WBEs across the organization
  • Growing WBEs throughout the supply chain
  • Creating education opportunities that allow WBEs to understand joint ventures, partnering & teaming, safety, certifications, and the financial requirements of doing business in the energy sector


The Automotive and Defense (A&D) industries face similar future challenges. Like many other industries, these sectors will contend with increasing regulations, implementation of new technology, speed to market and strategic growth. Opportunities for WBEs in the capital intensive and regulated environment of the A&D industry require these Top Corporations to focus on a number of supplier diversity best practices.

  • Growing WBEs throughout the supply chain
  • Creating educational opportunities that allow WBEs to understand the technical, quality, and safety support needed to grow within the supply chain
  • Mentoring whereby suppliers are managed and viewed as long term partners


The Retail and Food & Beverage industries are being challenged to rethink traditional concepts. An evolution of demographics and changing consumer preferences are creating unique challenges for retailers. Preferences of taste, price, and convenience have shifted product offerings toward health and wellness, safety, and social impact. As the demand for multi-channel retailing increases, so does the need for innovative digital interactions, personalized products, and regionalized logistics to meet consumer preferences. Top Corporations in the Retail and Food & Beverage industries employ a number of supplier diversity best practices to meet these evolving needs.

  • Raising consumer awareness of products or services provided by women owned business through various retail sales channels drives proven customer buying power
  • Designing courses that address merchandising, assortment planning, marketing, financial management, and access to capital allows women owned business to gain the skills needed to navigate the Retail and Food & Beverage Industry


Technology continues to drive innovation both within its industry and across industries. Consumers and businesses alike are becoming more ingrained in digital experiences, big data, cyber-security, and product development, leading to opportunities for WBEs to find a competitive advantage and offer innovative solutions in this space. Top Corporations in the Technology industry have used their innovative culture to develop best practices in supplier diversity.

  • Creating education opportunities that enable WBEs to learn, adapt, and succeed in the dynamic and innovative environment of Technology
  • Building business opportunities through collaboration and access to new resources including new product development education and how to strategically utilize financial instruments for growth
Posted on March 16, 2016 .