CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fifth Third Bank recently announced that through the first half of 2017, it had already exceeded its 2016 full-year spend with certified minority and women-owned businesses. The spend is part of Fifth Third’s overall commitment to inclusion and diversity which is an increasing focus of the Bank. This focus on inclusion and diversity was highlighted at the Bank’s third annual Supplier Diversity Summit, which was held in August.
The summit is designed to help women-, minority- and veteran-owned companies do more business with Fifth Third. Nearly 170 people attended the event, with 42 diverse companies represented from the Bank’s 10-state footprint.
“At Fifth Third Bank, we believe it’s our responsibility and obligation to always put the customer at the center of all we do and to take care of the communities in which we serve,” said president and CEO Greg D. Carmichael. “We approach diversity as a strategic imperative. We believe that diverse perspectives, ideas and thinking make us a stronger Bank,” he said.
“We take pride in our relationships with minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses,” Carmichael continued. “We recognize that diverse suppliers are a critical part of the health and vitality of our communities, our customers and the overall economy.”
Fifth Third spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually in goods and services, ranging from facility management services to information technology and office supplies. Awarding more of these contracts to diverse businesses has been a major focus of the Bank’s Strategic Sourcing department, led by Chief Sourcing Officer Juan Muńoz, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Teresa Tanner, Chief Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Jule Kucera and Director of Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Stephanie Smith.
Part of Fifth Third’s community commitment focuses on increasing diversity and inclusion efforts at the Bank and the companies that the Bank does business with. “The Summit is the signature event of our supplier diversity program,” Smith said. “The goal of the program is to increase Fifth Third’s spending with diverse suppliers, increase our number of diverse suppliers and increase diverse supplier penetration in challenging spending categories. Supplier diversity is an integral part of our bottom-line success and very much in line with our purpose to improve the lives of our customers and the well-being of our communities.”
Summit attendees listened to success stories from diverse suppliers who were previously awarded contracts from Fifth Third and learned about the supplier diversity program from a variety of executives. They also participated in interactive breakout sessions and table discussions.
One of the diverse suppliers who presented at the Summit was Tillie Hidalgo Lima, president and CEO of Best Upon Request Corporate, Inc (BEST). In January 2017, Fifth Third launched a maternity concierge service with BEST for female employees who are pregnant or who have a baby up to 1 year old. The goal of the service is to help moms with everything from planning baby showers to researching child care options.
“The maternity concierge program is incredible,” said Hidalgo Lima. “It’s the first of its kind, in terms of a maternity-focused concierge service to be offered at a corporation, and Fifth Third is leading the way in this innovative employer paid benefit. The leadership that was required to implement this service was bold, and the program ultimately helps women succeed at home and at work. Its purpose is to create a pipeline for women to grow their careers at Fifth Third Bank. We’re honored to be a part of that strategy.”
Fifth Third understands the importance of supporting women in the workforce. Over the past decade, Fifth Third has implemented initiatives to recruit, develop and advance female talent at all levels in their career. The maternity concierge program is a result of Tanner seeing an immediate need to support a specific group of employees: working mothers, who represent more than one-third of the female workforce.
Fifth Third has worked with BEST since 2013 to provide traditional corporate concierge services to employees at two of its Cincinnati campuses and it recently expanded its services to Bank employees in Grand Rapids and Chicago.
Through the years, Fifth Third has developed many partnerships with organizations that focus on enhancing supplier diversity efforts at businesses including the National Minority Supplier Development Council (nmsdc.org), the U.S. Small Business Administration (sba.gov), the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (va.gov) and the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (wbenc.org).
Smith said that the Supplier Diversity program at Fifth Third is already exceeding its 2017 goals, and events like the Summit build relationships with diverse suppliers, which, in turn, build future business opportunities.
For more information about Fifth Third’s Supplier Diversity program, visit https://www.53.com/content/fifth-third/en/personal-banking/about/diversity-at-fifth-third/supplier-diversity.html.
About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of June 30, 2017, the Company had $141 billion in assets and operated 1,157 full-service Banking Centers and 2,461 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2017, had $330 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $34 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.