Short History of Supplier Diversity

Supplier Diversity has its roots in Civil Rights legislation. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy championed civil rights working with Congress on HR 5271 that ultimately became the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In a “brilliant move by the arch foe of civil rights ”, Congressman Judge Howard W. Smith introduced an amendment to insert the word sex into the Act. This broadened Kennedy’s 1961 Executive Order (E.O.) 10925 affirmative action which instructed federal contractors to take “affirmative action to ensure that applicants are treated equally without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.” President Johnson amended E.O. 11246, which established the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, in 1967 to include affirmative action for women. This required Federal contractors to make good-faith efforts to expand employment opportunities for both women and minorities. President Nixon used E.O. 11458 to create a federal Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE). During 1979, the agency was renamed the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In 1971, President Nixon issued E.O. 11625, directing federal agencies to develop comprehensive plans and specific program goals for a national Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) contracting program. Then, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan issued E.O. 12432, which directed each federal agency with substantial procurement or grant making authority to develop a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) development plan.

The actions of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Reagan led to the formal process of identifying and vetting the credentials of businesses that claim to be owned and operated by qualified members of diverse ethnicity, veteran, women or disabled groups.

1. The Longest Debate; Whalen, Charles & Barbara; Seven Locks Press 1985; page 116
2. The History of Affirmative Action Policies; Americans for Fair Chance


  1. student loan on August 20, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  2. College Information on March 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I enjoyed reading this a lot…

    I really hope to read more of your posts in the future, so I’ve bookmarked your blog. But I couldn’t just bookmark it, oh no.. When I see quality website’s like this one, I like to share it with others So I’ve created a backlink to your site (from …

  3. affiliate marketing forum on March 25, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Love the points you presented! I have bookmarked your website and will be back soon so keep up the good work! 🙂 Also i have some questions for you, should i just ask them here?

    • Joanne on March 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      Yes, just ask them here!

  4. historical research on April 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    The methods of doing history have a history as well, called historiography. The historical practices of early human beings were very different from those of today — the legends, lists of warfare deeds, and registers of information offered no interpretation or analysis

  5. Jimmy Cotrina on October 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I was going to write a similar blog concerning this topic, you beat me to it. You did a nice job! Thanks and I well add your RSS to our blogs. Thanks so much!

  6. Leah on October 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Some really prime blog posts on this website , saved to my bookmarks .

  7. Willis Dore on October 23, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Good subject. I’ve discovered a whole lot new things here. Continue.

  8. Tim Findley on November 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Civil Rights Act of 1964, not 1974

  9. women in business on November 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    women in business…

    […]Diversity Business Blog » Blog Archive » Short History of Supplier Diversity – A blog for Small, Disadvantaged, Minority, Women and Veteran Business Enterprise (SDMWVBE) Owners[…]…

  10. A Way to Wealth on November 20, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    By starting a home based business you can change the way you work and create your ideal balance between running a successful business and looking after your family.

  11. irish history~irish ancestry~irish diaspora on December 27, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    irish history~irish ancestry~irish diaspora…

    […]Diversity Business Blog » Blog Archive » Short History of Supplier Diversity – A blog for Small, Disadvantaged, Minority, Women and Veteran Business Enterprise (SDMWVBE) Owners[…]…

  12. dress 2012 on March 4, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Thank you! You often write very interesting articles. You improved my mood.I’ll be back again.

  13. […] in 2010 we wrote  a brief history of Supplier Diversity, the highlights of which included a brief synopsis of the following Executive […]

  14. Perspectives | on July 25, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    […] often talk about the history of supplier diversity, how its roots are buried in the affirmative action/equal employment opportunities that came out of […]