Webster Committed to Ensuring Fair and Equitable Environment, Competitive Opportunities for Diverse Suppliers

Feb 15, 2024 11:00 AM ET
A person lays a t-shirt neatly on a conveyor.
Photo courtesy of Spectrum Designs, a Webster Diverse Supplier based in New York.

A growing number of companies recognize that a more inclusive approach to procurement can increase economic opportunities in the communities they serve. An effective supplier diversity program lowers barriers and enables access, allowing diverse businesses to compete for contracts in an equitable environment. Webster’s Supplier Diversity Program integrates diversity and inclusion into the procurement process by implementing policy, practices and procedures that ensure equal opportunity.

Webster’s Office of Corporate Responsibility (OCR) was established after the 2022 merger with Sterling National Bank. OCR builds on both banks’ long-standing records of citizenship, sustainability, and responsibility. Our Supplier Diversity program, part of OCR, seeks to identify capable diverse suppliers and provide them access to opportunities to become our business partners.

We want to ensure that diverse suppliers have the opportunity to compete in a fair and equitable environment. We understand the value of a diverse supply chain and we welcome all suppliers that have the capabilities to provide our business with goods and services.

Important questions for potential vendors

Therest Billouin-Roberts, Managing Director of Supplier Diversity, answers some important questions for potential vendors:

What types of businesses is Webster looking to work with?

We work with a wide range of vendors, including professional services such as marketing, training, product development and merchandising. We are also interested in working with vendors for supplies and equipment, operational processing, maintenance and software licensing.

What are the qualifications to apply?

Potential vendors should be certified woman-, minority-, veteran-, LGBTQ+- and disability-owned businesses. Self-certified businesses may also be provided opportunities to engage in business with the Bank depending on industry type.

What is a Certified Diverse Supplier?

A certified diverse supplier demonstrates to an independent organization that their business is at least 51% independently owned, operated, and managed. In the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock must be owned by one or more diverse owners. Eligibility for certification is typically established through a combination of screenings, interviews, and site visits.

Do diverse suppliers need to be certified?

While certification is not required to do business with Webster Bank, we strongly recommend certification so that the supplier can become part of our Supplier Diversity Program. If a supplier is not certified, we encourage them to become certified with one of our partner groups. The main certification partners we use are:

Additionally, there are local affiliates such as the Women’s Business Development Council in Connecticut and Women’s Enterprise Development Center, which serves Westchester and Hudson counties in New York, that can assist diverse vendors in identifying other certifying agencies.

How can I apply?

Applying to become an approved vendor is easy. Visit our web portal to get started. Vendors can email questions related to supplier diversity to supplier-diversity@websterbank.com.

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