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.
A representative from one of our National Conference & Business Fair Corporate Member Presenting Sponsors, Joycelyn Yue, Supplier Development Manager, Southern California Edison, 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: Southern California Edison’s (SCE) commitment to supplier diversity stems from the belief that diverse suppliers (women, minority, service-disabled and LGBT) are critical in helping us achieve our mission to safely deliver reliable, clean, and affordable energy to our customers.
By working with a broad group of diverse suppliers, we have access to a larger pool of qualified firms, achieve greater savings and higher quality goods and services due to increased competition, and build a supplier base that more closely mirrors the diverse communities we serve. In short, supplier diversity has become a standard business practice and part of our corporate culture that brings us new and innovative solutions.
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: My favorite part of the event is the 1:1 MatchMaking. WBENC pairs corporate representatives and suppliers accurately to create meaningful conversations during the matchmaking meetings. As a result of the matchmaking sessions, we have successfully identified women business suppliers we are now working with.
Q: In an organization as large as Southern California Edison, 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: I’ve been an advocate for women leaders through providing coaching to WBEs on how to position yourself with not only selling your products to SCE, but also to other companies. It’s about presenting yourself and your company’s area of expertise professionally and asking the right questions to get you to the decision maker.
I’m also the manager of our Supplier Diversity & Development’s EDGE (Entrepreneurial, Development, Growth and Education) Program which provides technical assistance through a number of technical assistance programs, like our 46 EDGE Program Course Curriculum and our Mentorship Program.
Learn more about NCBF Co-Chairs and all our sponsors at conf.wbenc.org.