Enjoy the Benefits of a Diversity Certification
Our Approach to Diversity
As an organization, we are clear that a commitment to inclusion and equity are core to our culture. We want to be a workplace that’s open to new ideas, and fully supportive of our colleagues and partners across all dimensions of diversity. For many years now, IPG has been focused on making real changes within our ranks, and within the communities in which we live and work.
IPG has been recognized for its progress in this space. Our DE&I team was named Top Diversity Team by Profiles in Diversity Journal and Forbes named IPG one of America’s 10 Best Employers for Diversity. In 2022, IPG was listed in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the third year in a row and the HRC Corporate Equality Index for the 13th year, recognizing IPG as a best place to work for LGBTQ+ talent.
We know work remains to be done. This is why we continue investing in initiatives to ensure that we have robust programs in place, like working with suppliers that have diversity and sustainability top of mind.
IPG considers supplier diversity and sustainability as key components of our strategic sourcing process. We expect suppliers to adhere to the IPG Code of Conduct, IPG Human Rights Policy, and IPG Sustainability and Environmental Impact Policy while conducting business with, and/or on behalf of, IPG.
Becoming a Diverse Supplier
As a marketing partner for corporate and government clients committed to Supplier Diversity, IPG and our companies are often contractually obligated to (1) provide maximum viable opportunities for Minority (MBE), Women (WBE), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Service Disabled Veteran-owned Business Enterprises (DV), and Small Business Concerns (SB) to participate with us as suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors of goods and services, plus (2) measure our expenditures with these qualified vendors. This information will enhance our companies’ and clients’ ability to identify strategic business alliances through broader supplier participation.
IPG strongly encourages eligible businesses to be certified for inclusion within our Supplier Diversity Initiatives and Directory. IPG recognizes certifications from accredited third-party certifying organizations in addition to federal and state certifications. For more information on becoming certified, see the classifications below.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) sets the standards for determining what qualifies as a small business. Generally, the number of employees or average annual receipts, represents the largest size that a business (including its subsidiaries and affiliates) may be to remain classified as a small business for SBA and federal contracting programs. The definition of “small” varies by industry.Get more info
Small businesses that are at least 51% owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. This includes publicly owned businesses that have at least 51% of their stock unconditionally owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and whose management and daily business is controlled by one or more such individuals.Get more info
Any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation. (20 USC 1061 (2), Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965).Get more info
A small business concern that is located in a historically underutilized business zone is owned and controlled by one or more U.S. citizens, and at least 35% of its employees reside in a HUBZone. The U.S. Small Business Administration can help certify your small business located in a historically underutilized business zone.Get more info
A business that is at least 51% owned by one or more veterans who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more veterans, and the management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more veterans. The term “veteran” means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released there from under conditions other than dishonorable. The National Veteran Business Development Council can help you to certify your veteran-owned business.Get more info
A business that is at least 51% owned by one or more service-disabled veterans who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans; and the management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of a veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such a veteran. The term “veteran” means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers federal programs that help veteran-owned small businesses.Get more info
A business that is at least 51% owned, controlled, and operated by individuals who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents or individuals who are disabled as defined by The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Disability:IN can help you to certify your disability-owned business.Get more info
A business that is at least 51% owned by a minority group member who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock of which is owned by a minority group, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by a minority group (e.g. African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian Pacific American, Asian-Indian American). The National Minority Supplier Development Council can help you to certify your minority-owned business.Get more info
A business that is at least 51% owned by one or more women who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock of which is owned by one or more women, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council can help you to certify your women-owned business.Get more info
A business that is at least 51% owned, operated, managed, and controlled by an LGBT person or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock of which is owned by one or more LGBT, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more LGBT. The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce can help you to certify your LGBT-owned business.Get more info
Federal Business Classification Profile
In accordance with 15 U.S.C. 645(d) any person who misrepresents a firm’s proper classification shall (1) be punished by imposition of a fine, imprisonment, or both; (2) be subject to administrative remedies; and (3) be ineligible for participation in programs conducted under the authority of Small Business Act.
Frequently Asked Questions
Supplier Diversity is a business strategy that ensures a diverse supplier base in the procurement of goods and services. It emphasizes the inclusion of diverse groups in the procurement process for small, women-owned (WBEs), minority-owned (MBEs), LGBT-owned, and US Military Veteran-owned companies in the United States.
Supplier Diversity is a component of IPG’s Diversity and Inclusion commitment. IPG’s initiative was launched in 2007 and has evolved into an integral business strategy that gives IPG a competitive advantage and improves lives across the United States. Today we spend over $500M annually with companies that are at least 51%-owned by small, women, minorities, LGBT, or Military Veterans in the United States.
Certification is a process managed by an independent third-party organization to validate diverse suppliers that meet certain requirements to be classified as such. Suppliers that meet those requirements are provided formal documentation stating so, along with their diverse designation. Eligibility is conducted through a series of screenings, interviews, and site visits.
This distinguishes the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council from other organizations that publish directories allowing for “self-certification” as their standard.
Stringent standardization also identifies bona fide women and minority businesses, helping corporations report expenditures accurately.
IPG recognizes and reports on both certified and self-certified diverse suppliers. However, most IPG clients’ respective Supplier Diversity Programs only recognize certified diverse suppliers. In support of our clients’ initiatives we strongly encourage diverse suppliers to become certified.
IPG does not certify diverse suppliers. Certifications are issued by third-party organizations dedicated to the advancement of business opportunities for diverse suppliers. These diversity-focused organizations have developed a comprehensive process and eligibility criteria required to become certified.
While IPG does not certify diverse suppliers, we recommend suppliers interested in becoming certified to utilize nationally recognized certifying organizations such as the following:
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
IPG is a strong advocate of certification. If you are not yet certified as a diverse supplier, we recommend you contact one of the certifying organizations.
While suppliers are not required to become certified, only certified suppliers will be considered for client projects that explicitly require certified suppliers.
Being certified as a diverse supplier does not guarantee business with IPG. However, it does give your company visibility as a diverse supplier when IPG is looking to source products and services from certified diverse suppliers.
Our vendor onboarding system captures supplier diversity information such as diverse category and certification documents (if applicable).
IPG uses the nationally recognized certifying organizations identified above to identify prospective diverse suppliers.
In addition, IPG uses other third-party supplier databases to identify other small and diverse suppliers.
Preferred or approved supplier status is generally awarded to suppliers (diverse and non-diverse) per IPG’s policies, on an as-needed basis, for the procurement of specific products or services enterprise-wide.