As HSM continues our month-long spotlight on supplier diversity, we’re looking today at our company’s ongoing efforts to raise the bar and create new opportunities in STEAM-related fields, or those industries rooted in science, technology, engineering, arts and/or math. We had the chance to speak with Leslee Ducey, HSM’s Senior Director of Corporate Procurement Technology, who brings more than 30 years of experience in information technology to her role as a senior strategy and operations leader. Ducey is currently putting her global expertise in vendor management and sourcing to work helping HSM and Hilton establish strong tech vendor partnerships from a diverse pool.
HSM: Can you describe HSM’s Supplier Diversity Program?
Ducey: The program began a decade ago, and in 2019, we embarked on a further journey of transformation, innovating our communications and outreach to better tell our story. We’ve succeeded in cultivating relationships with 4,900+ women-, minority-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned businesses.
HSM: How are you and your team specifically contributing to supplier diversity at HSM?
Ducey: I have made it a priority to instill in my team a commitment to grow diversity opportunities by adding diverse partners to any new technology RFPs for Hilton. Simultaneously, we are diving into opportunities to apply supplier diversity skillset mapping within the five technology category spend types. Additionally, we are using category grouping to help Hilton get a handle on technology- leading and forward-thinking niche skillsets.
HSM: Why is Hilton’s commitment to supplier diversity so important?
Ducey: In 2020, Hilton was recognized as the #1 Supplier Diversity program by Diversity Inc. A company’s commitment to supplier diversity, especially under the umbrella of technology vendor partnerships, can be beneficial in so many ways. First, inclusion promotes innovation through the introduction of new products, services and solutions. Supplier diversity among technology vendors also provides multiple channels from which to procure goods and services, driving competition on price and service levels. And, finally, supplier diversity is advantageous to all stakeholders, not just to the companies with programs.
Utilizing the full force of HSM and Hilton, Leslee and her team are working to promote inclusion, support and visibility within the hospitality landscape, representing and reflecting the diversity of the communities in which we all work, live and travel. Learn more about HSM’s commitment to double our sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030, and stay tuned for our upcoming Insights installment. In our concluding article, we’ll connect with HSM’s Director of Supplier Diversity Simone Ray about our company’s commitment to partnering with and supporting women-owned businesses.