Duke Realty has made a commitment to the communities it serves and that have helped to make the company a success. As part of that commitment, the company strives to share its success with historically underutilized business partners in all of its markets and through all of its partnerships.
The company’s supplier diversity efforts are aimed at broadening the network of businesses serving Duke Realty and its customers to include qualified minority, women, veteran, disadvantaged, and small businesses. Along with business development, recruiting and retention, and community outreach, supplier diversity is one of the four components in Duke Realty’s mission of diversity and inclusion.
This is one big reason that Duke Realty has become a corporate member of groups such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). The other big reason, maybe the biggest, has to do with Duke Realty customers.
Ronalda Minnis heads up Duke Realty’s supplier diversity effort.
“It’s important to us, but it’s also very important to our customers,” Minnis says. “They all have diversity commitments of their own.”
Duke Realty’s membership in national organizations like NMSDC and WBENC help ensure that qualified minority- and women-owned businesses are connected with the projects and customers Duke Realty serves. Projects, often depending on funding, may have very specific requirements for diversity, and the NMSDC and WBENC have broad resources to ensure that those goals are met.
“Our memberships give us a better way to do that,” Minnis says, “so we can stay focused on our customers.”
Minnis sees the positive effect of groups like NMSDC and WBENC (and their corporate members) across the entire business community and Duke Realty’s commitment to supplier diversity as a key part.
As a corporate member of NMSDC, for example, Duke Realty has access to all affiliates in 24 cities across the country, many in Duke Realty markets. Affiliates host their own opportunity fairs, conferences, or expos where attendees can confer with minority business enterprises (MBEs), assess their capabilities, and make contacts for the future.
“I was at an event recently,” Minnis recalls, “where they brought in Daymond John from Shark Tank. He met with five minority businesses and advised them based on their pitches. As it happened, two of them were Duke Realty tenants. I thought that was a good sign. There’s a partnership there, to support them and to support us in our efforts.”
WBENC hosts similar events through its 14 regional partner organizations.
To get involved with Duke Realty’s supplier diversity programs, prospective businesses should first seek membership in one of these organizations. They can attend an opportunity event, have a conversation, and get qualified. Once they are qualified members, interested companies can learn more about Duke Realty’s supplier diversity program by clicking here and can register as a supplier with Duke Realty through the contractor registration and login portal on the Duke Realty website.