For more than 170 years, MassMutual has had a single purpose: to help people secure their future and protect the ones they love.
MassMutual is well into its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) journey. In fact, it started over a decade ago and today includes a critical new link between procurement and supplier diversity in an effort to accelerate progress towards the company’s equity and sustainability goals.
“We saw procurement transformation as an opportunity to create beneficial change within the company and in the communities we serve,” said Will Porter, head of procurement, MassMutual. “Procurement is unique in that its impact is immediate. The money we spend and the relationships we build have greater immediate and longer-term influence when we are intentional, and this creates a ripple effect with broad-reaching impact.” MassMutual’s head of supplier diversity, Regina Heyward, could not agree more.
“The societal aftershocks unleashed following racially charged events of 2020 sparked an overwhelming sense of urgency to evolve MassMutual’s procurement practices with the company’s long-standing commitment to equity as foundational to the plan,” said Heyward.
A commitment to supplier diversity can be a key driver of business inclusion, helping to ensure that diverse-owned businesses have an opportunity to compete to provide goods and services. At the center of MassMutual’s efforts is its five-year commitment to procure $150 million from diverse-owned businesses. Another key component is its Diverse Business Program, a collaboration with Dartmouth College and Stanford University to provide education, mentoring and access to capital to 175 businesses.
“All aspects of the evolved procurement process were built with measurable, actionable steps,” said Heyward. “We integrated supplier diversity best practices, end to end, within procurement processes and we hold our suppliers accountable for DEI within their operations and monitor their DEI performance and continuous improvements. As a result, we grew our spend with underrepresented diverse suppliers by 18% in the first year.”
MassMutual’s involvement with national and regional business councils helps the company’s functional leaders source and connect with diverse suppliers, and the company is an active contributor and collaborator with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and nearly 20 other organizations focused on supporting underrepresented communities.
Undaunted by the challenges of building a robust business inclusion framework, MassMutual forges ahead to tackle the work that still needs to be done.
“Business inclusion, when done thoughtfully and purposefully, can expand marketplace opportunities, help close the wealth gap, and spark economic recovery,” concluded Porter. “It’s not the first time that MassMutual has set a high bar, and it won’t be the last.”
MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. Founded in 1851, the company has been continually guided by one consistent purpose: we help people secure their future and protect the ones they love. With a focus on delivering long-term value, MassMutual offers a wide range of protection, accumulation, wealth management and retirement products and services. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.