Building Equity Through Intentionality

Rona, vice president of global supplier diversity and procurement, is a driving force in building our global supplier diversity program, steering tactically towards our $3B diverse supplier spend goal by 2025.

May 16, 2023 3 Minute Read

Intentionality in purchasing needs to be prioritized with organizations, just like CBRE and its clients have committed to.
At CBRE, given the impact we have on our communities, clients, employees and stakeholders, we recognize the importance of conducting and growing our business in ways that can also scale positive impact in the places where we live and work.

“Intentionality in purchasing needs to be prioritized with organizations, just like CBRE and our clients have committed to,” says Rona, the leader of CBRE’s global supplier diversity program, recognized as one of the most active and progressive programs among U.S. corporations.

Rona says it’s important to build a business case for supplier diversity, both internally and externally. “A diverse supply chain is financially, qualitatively and quantitatively the right thing to do. We look at it through the business lens of cost savings, effectiveness and innovation.”

But she knows that’s no small feat. “It requires aligning thought processes and change management. In some cases, we partner with our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team to break through unconscious bias.”

Of particular importance is CBRE’s commitment to developing high-potential diverse suppliers, ones that consistently deliver on quality, on time and on innovative and collaborative solutions. “They recognize that when their business demonstrates good outcomes, it’s good for CBRE and our clients.”

Rona returned to CBRE in 2022, having first worked as an assistant controller for CBRE before becoming a Certified Fraud Examiner and pursuing other career opportunities. When she was offered a part-time role on a relocation project with the city of Chicago, she had never heard of supplier diversity.

She quickly learned that her accounting skills were essential in developing the capacity of diverse-owned businesses and increasing their availability. If she could help a business understand its financial statements, it could successfully apply for loans to scale and service larger organizations, growing their economic impact in return. Rona maintains that same focus more than 20 years later in her current role.

Looking ahead, Rona is a driving force behind CBRE’s goal to spend $3 billion with diverse suppliers by the end of 2025. She says the next step for her team will be conducting maturity assessments to improve processes and increase the engagement of even more diverse suppliers across the business globally.

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