Retirement Giant TIAA Expands Commitment To Buy More Goods from Minority Suppliers

Already a big and longtime supporter of minority suppliers, financial services and pension fund giant TIAA plans to spend more and buy additional goods and services from those firms.

The New York City-based firm just launched the TIAA Supplier Diversity Economic Impact Report. It includes initiatives to develop stronger working relationships with suppliers owned by minorities; women; veterans; disabled people; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. TIAA had around $1.2 trillion in assets under management as of late September.

The fresh report shows the firm’s commitment to a unique and diverse supplier base, TIAA officials say. TIAA started its Supplier Diversity Program to build relationships with diverse suppliers.

“We are proud of the work we’ve done to support and celebrate diverse and minority-owned businesses, but we know we must do more,” Glenn Richter, chief financial officer at TIAA, stated. “As our nation continues to reel from the lasting effects of COVID-19 and the ongoing racial and social tensions, we are committed to expanding and strengthening this program, especially as many minority-owned businesses continue to face unprecedented economic challenges.”

Beyond providing TIAA with access to a wide range of talent, the the firm reports its Supplier Diversity Program has created economic growth for many communities, including those of its participants.

In 2019, TIAA bought $130 million from diverse businesses in the U.S. The purchases supported 825 jobs and $53 million in wages and benefits at these firms. Due to TIAA’s purchases, these small and diverse businesses bought $51 million in goods and services from their suppliers and supported an extra 327 jobs.

And with TIAA’s direct and indirect impact, the employees in supported jobs at small and diverse businesses generated an extra $64 million in economic activity and created 478 more jobs in their communities.

The company says it also provides a broad range of capabilities within its supplier base by providing:

  • Diversity training for our suppliers, helping them engage with TIAA and to educate non-diverse suppliers on working with diverse businesses.
  • Supplier diversity mentorship program. It connects diverse-owned businesses with experienced and committed mentors to expand the reach and support the growth of their companies.
  • Supplier summits, which include opportunities to hear from thought leaders and experts on industry best practices.
  • Scholarships providing diverse suppliers with full tuition to the Tuck Diversity Business Program at Dartmouth University in Hanover, New Hampshire, funding five scholarships for $24,500 in 2019. In 2020, will double to 10 scholarships for $49,000.