Fueling Equity through Supplier Diversity: Dr. Michelle Muhammad
The passion, excitement and overall dedication entrepreneurs experience when starting their own business can easily be dimmed by the constant hurdles and rejection they receive from bigger businesses not willing to take a chance, especially on minority businesses.
For more than 15 years, our supplier diversity program has opened doors for diverse and minority-owned businesses by way of mentoring programs and developmental support with the goal of helping them prosper and reach long-term sustainability. The impact to date has been substantial, with more than $605 million spent on diverse supplier contracts, more than 5,000 jobs supported and nearly $250 million in wages generated for those employees.
Ultimately, it’s about the people. We are privileged to work with many contractors and suppliers who are vital to the ongoing success of our business. At Southern Company Gas, Fueling Equity is more than an ambition or goal. It’s creating a culture that reflects a community anchored in opportunities for all through listening, learning and leading in the workplace and the communities we serve. These pillars extend beyond our employee base to those that do business with us daily.
This month, we will hear from three of our suppliers, each with a unique story of their own, on how our program has helped them grow and expand their work beyond the natural gas industry. But first, Dr. Michelle Muhammad, director of supplier diversity for Southern Company Gas, shares more about the work her team does to ensure the growth of our program extends across the communities we serve, but also the impact this work has on her personally.