8 September 2016, Intel Corporation in South Africa hosted a Roundtable Discussion for women business enterprises and corporations. Deaneesha Govender, Chairperson of WEConnect International in South Africa Advisory Council and Commodity Manager for Regional Strategic Sourcing from Intel Corporation facilitated the discussion. WEConnect International corporates in attendance were Lynne Cuzen, Category Lead for Technology and Talent Services from EY; Natalie Musgrave, Media Purchases and Supplier Diversity from Procter & Gamble (P&G); and Jacob Pretorius, Procurement Manager from Johnson & Johnson (JnJ).
The discussion was held to help corporates better understand challenges and successes experienced by women business enterprises. Corporates and women business enterprises also brainstormed on the possible solutions and discussed opportunities.
An open and constructive discussion was held where women business enterprises were encouraged to be as transparent as possible. Challenges discussed included:
Corporate attendees also raised their internal and external challenges which impacts their support to women business enterprises. These included genuine work overload to internal teams; leading to delays in giving feedback and responding to WBEs as well as payment processes being out of their control and managed internationally vs locally. Other areas included WEConnect International support teams not always available to attend pitches and therefore unable to provide the appropriate feedback. Corporates also stated that due to reduction exercises in the supply base at a Global level, it has contributed to difficulties in contracting with new vendors.
After identifying the challenges, various solutions and opportunities were discussed. The report from the discussion will be taken to WEConnect International in South Africa Advisory Council in October. This subject has already been discussed with the women business enterprises on the WEConnect International in South Africa bi-weekly call. The feedback received will be used to help improve the strategy for 2017.
WEConnect International in South Africa would like to thank Deaneesha Govender for her continued support not only as chairperson but also for hosting the largest number of corporate events.