Supplier and Contracting Diversity
Supplier and contractor diversity are often unmined opportunities to further integrate diversity, equity and inclusion principles into a company's supply chain.
When choosing suppliers and contractors, Caesars has increasingly brought diversity into the conversation, as it creates a competitive advantage. Our procurement team is aware of the value diverse suppliers have for our business, our local communities and for the suppliers themselves. Each year, we increase our procurement spend with Minority and Women-owned or Disadvantaged Businesses and Enterprises (MWDBEs) and assist them in acquiring necessary diversity certifications and mentoring emerging MWDBEs. To further support outreach to these MWDBEs, Caesars is part of a number of chambers of commerce, a few of which are the National Minority Supplier Development Council Women's Business Enterprise National Council and U.S. Business Leadership Network (disability inclusion).
At Caesars, there are always several renovation and construction projects occurring worldwide. In contracting diversity, we approach the entire lifecycle of the project from design to completion with a diversity, equity and inclusion lens. To lead our CAESARS FORUM construction project, scheduled to open in Las Vegas in 2020, we selected a local firm that has committed to a goal of 25% diversity composition at every subcontracting level and is doing extensive outreach on the community to identify qualified local contractors for this project. We believe that the success of our organization, and the community, depends on our ability to work with diverse suppliers to provide unique insights into emerging markets, enhance our supply chain, build a loyal customer base and create wealth and opportunities within the communities in which we operate.
Since 2011, Caesars' spend with diverse vendors has grown from 5.8% of addressable spend to 16.7% in 2017, which is 39% above the national average spend of 12%. In 2017, in the Baltimore region alone, we added 14 new diverse suppliers, totaling $1 million in spend. By 2022, we aim to have one-third of all Requests for Proposals per calendar year to include certified diverse suppliers and contractors.
A strong supplier diversity program provides unique insights into emerging markets, enhances our supply chain and builds a loyal customer base for Caesars. Quite simply, it offers us a competitive advantage.