Building Supplier Diversity is Meaningful and Simpler Than You Think

Mar 18, 2021

By Edie Stringfellow, Senior Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, MassBio

Many life sciences companies, especially smaller companies, consider supplier diversity initiatives beyond their capabilities or needs. Indeed, starting a supplier diversity program can seem like a daunting task – something that’s out-of-reach and unnecessary. Yet, we know supplier diversity initiatives small and large can have a meaningful impact on the organization and the communities they operate in. So, how can we simplify the process of diverse supplier discovery and integrate it into all life sciences companies? I spoke with MassBio’s Jason Cordeiro, VP of Business Operations, to gain his insight on how the life sciences industry can improve racial equity through supplier diversity and increase access to opportunities and capital for diverse suppliers.

What are some steps that organizations can take to implement a supplier diversity program?

MassBio has built a program with our partners at Thermo Fisher Scientific, which has relationships with numerous diverse suppliers, to provide a roadmap for our members to help address diversity spend on lab supplies. In fact, this program is incentivizing our members to switch to diverse suppliers. Our goal is to work with our members of all sizes to identify areas of opportunity for them to switch to diverse suppliers within their existing spend through the MassBio Edge purchasing program.

What trends do you think will have significant implications on supplier diversity across the life sciences in the long-term?

The most important thing to keep in mind is that companies don’t have to swing for the fences every time. It’s okay to start small with things that can be changed quickly, like caterers, contract work, or company gifts, while keeping an eye on shifting some major business over time toward diverse suppliers. This makes it more accessible to all and something that’s easier to get off the ground. As long as we are being intentional with our spend, we will make a big difference in the long-term.

How do you see the MassBio Edge supplier diversity effort fitting into MassBio’s bigger ED&I initiative?

As we often talk about at MassBio, implementing an effective ED&I program is iterative. You cannot do everything at once and lasting change takes time. We have set some aggressive goals for ourselves to improve diversity spend through the Edge program as well as change what we do internally. We want to support the industry in making change, and we have to lead by example, provide the resources to help, and make sure to hold our members and ourselves accountable.

With intentional sourcing, companies and diverse suppliers can progressively grow. For life sciences companies that intend to scale, they must cultivate ED&I sourcing to reflect the market and invest in the communities they serve. To learn more about MassBio Edge and its supplier diversity efforts visit or talk to your MassBio Edge representative.


Jason is the Vice President of Business Operations. He joined MassBio in September of 2018 as the Vice President of Consortium Operations. In his role as VP of Business Operations, Jason is responsible for managing business services for our members including; all Edge purchasing and rewards programs, supporting partnering initiatives, sponsor visibility and branding, and MassBioHub sales and marketing.

Jason received a B.S. in Biology from Emmanuel College. He had worked at BIDMC researching the effects of NSAIDS on ovarian, prostate, and breast cancers and had spent nine years with Thermo Fisher Scientific in various commercial roles. He currently resides on the South Shore with his wife and two children.

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