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Policy on Supplier Diversity

Policy Category: Division of Diversity and Inclusion

Effective Date: 10/4/2023

Responsible Officer: Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion/Vice President for Finance

History: New Policy

Responsible Office: Purchasing Department


Wentworth Institute of Technology (the university) acknowledges the significance of maintaining a diverse supply base and is committed to developing mutually beneficial relationships with diverse suppliers. The policy reflects Wentworth’s efforts to create opportunities for suppliers to market their products to the University and to encourage university departments/schools to offer opportunities to such suppliers. Therefore, Wentworth is committed to employing an equity and inclusion lens throughout each stage of the procurement process.


The policy applies to all university departments, Wentworth employees, and contractors engaged in business with the university.




The university will award contracts based on a business’ relative competitiveness, the value of their offerings and their demonstrated performance using an intentional procurement process that provides opportunities for participation to businesses that have been historically underrepresented.  

The Wentworth Community is encouraged to explore opportunities to obtain services and goods from certified MBE, WBE, and/or VBE status with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Supplier Diversity Office’s Directory of Certified Business, the Greater New England Minority Supplier Diversity Council, provide alternative certification, or a self-certification for the University’s review and non-certified Diverse Suppliers that can provide competitive quality and pricing. 


  1. Diverse Supplier: A supplier that is at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by individuals who are considered part of an underrepresented group, which may include Minority or Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOB), Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB), Disability-owned Business Enterprises (DIS), Small Business Enterprises (SBE), LGBTQ Business Enterprises (LGBTQBE) and Local Business Enterprises (LBE). 
  2. Second Tier Supplier: A diverse supplier that is subcontracted by the university's primary supplier to provide goods or services to the university. 
  3. Third Tier Supplier: A diverse supplier that is subcontracted by a 2nd tier supplier to provide goods or services for the university. 


Identifying Potential Diverse Suppliers 

  1. The purchasing department will work in collaboration with diversity, equity and inclusion staff to identify potential diverse suppliers in various industries. 
  2. The purchasing department shall encourage and invite diverse suppliers to meet with staff to review product/services specifications, and review supplier qualifications including licenses, certification, and insurance requirements where required. 
  3. Staff will be designated to act as a liaison with diverse suppliers and provide counseling on product/job standards and supplier qualifications.   
  4. Purchasing and department staff will seek out and attend local supplier diversity fairs and networking events.  
  5. Our primary suppliers will be strongly encouraged to engage diverse suppliers in their subcontracting opportunities wherever possible. We also request that 2nd tier subcontractors encourage diverse 3rd tier subcontractors when applicable and appropriate. 

Qualifying Diverse Suppliers 

  1. Suppliers must submit detailed information about the supplier’s business, capabilities, certifications (if any), financial stability and references. 
  2. The supplier’s documentation will be reviewed to ensure they meet the criteria of being a diverse supplier. 
  3. Certifications from recognized third-party organizations will be verified. 
  4. The financial stability of the diverse supplier will be assessed to ensure they can fulfill contractual obligations. 
  5. Once qualified, diverse suppliers shall notify the university if their status as a diverse supplier changes. 

Development and Support 

  1. The university will actively seek out diverse suppliers, educate the Wentworth community about the value of supplier diversity, participate in at least one supplier diversity vendor fair annually, and develop a database of diverse suppliers.  
  2. Departments should search the resources provided by the university and may also search local state government websites (often organized by service sector and commodity categories) to find diverse suppliers whenever possible. 
  3. The Vice President for Finance and the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, or their designees, in partnership, will establish objective key performance indicators (KPIs) on an annual basis. 
  4. The purchasing department will serve as a departmental resource in the development of MBE sub-contract spending goals for Federally funded research projects as is often required under the terms and conditions of the granting agency and/or federal law. 

Performance Evaluation and Improvement 

  1. We will regularly monitor and evaluate the performance of diverse suppliers to ensure they meet our standards and expectations. 
  2. Feedback from university departments and stakeholders will be considered in the evaluation process. 
  3. These procedures will be periodically reviewed to identify opportunities for improvement and effectiveness. 
  4. Feedback from suppliers and internal stakeholders will be considered in updating and refining our supplier diversity initiatives. 
  5. The Purchasing Department will work with the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion or their designee to establish and review the supplier diversity policy and program. 

Reporting and Transparency 

  1. The university will maintain records of diverse suppliers' participation and performance, including 2nd and 3rd tier engagement. 
  2. Diverse suppliers will verify the dollar spend for each entity (if 2nd or 3rd tier suppliers are used) at the time of billing. 
  3. Regular reports on supplier diversity initiatives and progress will be shared with relevant stakeholders and made available to the public, as appropriate. 

Additional Information & Related Documents


Interpretation & Revision

Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion/Vice President for Finance. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy. 

This policy shall be reviewed every three years; however, minor changes and updates can be made at any time. 

Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy. Additionally, in instances where two or more policies are implicated, a case-by-case determination will be made to determine what policy will be used.

Review and Revision History

This policy was drafted by the Vice President for Diversity Equity and Inclusion and the Inclusive Excellence Committee of the Board of Trustees. This policy was reviewed by the Board of Trustees and Cabinet and approved by the President on 10/4/2023.

This is a new policy.