Building Impactful Business Diversity Programs Inclusive Business and Supplier Diversity Strategies

Learn how business diversity strategies add value to your supplier diversity program.

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At a Glance

Open Enrollment
1 day

Move Your Supplier Diversity Program Forward by Increasing Your Professional Services Opportunities

Our new course, Inclusive Business and Supplier Diversity Strategies, is offered by The University of Chicago’s Office of Business Diversity and presented by its Business Diversity Institute. This one-day course delivers practical solutions to build impactful and sustainable business diversity programs, focusing on strategies to expand professional services with minority and women-owned businesses. Working with minority and women-owned businesses grants your organization the opportunity to access a richer pool of talent that is overflowing with new ways of thinking, helping drive innovation, creativity, and growth, according to research on diversity within the workplace.

Designed For

Professionals working in procurement; business diversity; supplier diversity; and DEI at corporations, nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, and educational institutions.

Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes

Through hands-on activities like role-playing, decision-mapping, and strategy development, participants will gain the tools to implement a sustainable, diverse business model within their institution’s procurement or supply chain division. You will learn to set procurement goals for MWBE’s, how business diversity interacts with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities, and how to facilitate contracting opportunities for MWBEs in sectors like financial services, asset management, and information technology.

After completing this course, learners will be able to:

  • Explain best practices around identifying, hiring, and retaining diverse businesses
  • Describe how establishing a business diversity program within their organization could reinforce its efforts to grow the brand, further its mission, and accomplish key objectives
  • Develop a top-down strategy to integrate hiring diverse businesses into their vendor selection and procurement processes
  • Identify performance indicators to monitor progress and measure success
  • Utilize a custom playbook of impactful business diversity strategies, including real-world case studies and a glossary of key terms from relevant sectors.
  • 8:00–8:30 a.m | Registration with Continental Breakfast
  • 8:30–8:45 a.m | Welcome and Overview (Nadia Quarles)
  • 8:45–9:45 a.m | Session 1: DEI and ESG Part 1 (Connie Lindsey, Kim Waller, Aurora Austriaco)
  • 9:45–10:00 a.m | Break
  • 10:00-11:00 a.m | Session 2: DEI and ESG Part 2 (Connie Lindsey and Kim Waller)
  • 11:00–12:00 p.m | Session 3: Sourcing and Procurement Part 1 (Mark Felhberg and John Hillesland)
  • 12:00–12:50 p.m | Lunch and Professional Services Symposium Overview (Nadia Quarles and special guest speaker)
  • 12:50–1:00 p.m | Break and Resume Sessions
  • 1:00–2:00 p.m | Session 4: Sourcing and Procurement Part 1 (Mark Felhberg and John Hillesland)
  • 2:00–2:10 p.m | Break
  • 2:10–3:10 p.m | Session 5: Financial Services (Courtney Davis Curtis)
  • 3:10–3:20 p.m | Break
  • 3:20–4:20 p.m | Session 6: Asset Management (Nadia Quarles and Malik Murray)
  • 4:20–4:30 p.m | Break
  • 4:30–5:00 p.m | Session 7: Leadership Development (Guest Speaker TBD)
  • 5:00–5:15 p.m | Program Evaluations (Nadia Quarles)
  • 5:15-5:30 p.m | Credential Award Ceremony (Nadia Quarles and UCPE)
  • 5:30–5:45 p.m | Closing
  • 5:45–6:45 p.m | Reception

Build Your Custom Business Diversity Playbook

In addition to in-person lecture and activity sessions, the interactive course provides participants with a playbook of strategies and best practices for building impactful and sustainable business diversity programs at corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, and educational institutions. The unique playbook contains a glossary of key terms from relevant sectors—procurement, DEI, ESG, asset management, financial services, and information technology—so participants can better understand how to diversify professional services opportunities and communicate this impact with decision-makers. The playbook also contains real-world case studies drawn from the experiences of the day’s presenters to be used for navigating vendor contracts within the professional services arena.

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Discover Innovative Talent In Places You Haven’t Looked Yet.

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Learn from recognized leaders in supplier diversity

UChicago’s Associate Vice President of Business Diversity Nadia M. Quarles, a widely regarded thought leader and diversity, equity, and inclusion visionary strategist, consults on effective, inclusive business strategies and leads the business diversity processes at the University of Chicago. Through Quarles' direction, UChicago has become a model institution for business diversity success that has driven sustainable growth while boosting access to and opportunities for diverse and innovative business relationships.

The Business Diversity Institute is the learning arm of the University of Chicago’s Office of Business Diversity. The Institute provides business diversity supportive services for professionals seeking training on strategies for implementing impactful and sustainable business diversity programs within the workplace. The Institute offers specialized training, resources and networking with experts in the fields of business diversity, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and procurement. The Institute helps individuals, nonprofits, foundations, organizations and government agencies understand the value of and how to become champions for business diversity as a vital organizational stem that when appropriately nurtured, drives innovation, builds careers, and enriches communities.

Business Diversity Institute at UChicago

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including advancing global climate solutions, decreasing nuclear risk, promoting local justice reform in the U.S., and reducing corruption in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program and the global 100&Change competition, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsive democracy as well as the vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.

MacArthur Foundation

Meet Your Business and Supplier Diversity Instructors

Over a full day of supplier diversity training, Quarles and a team of professionals in procurement, business development, corporate social responsibility, technology, and asset management, will teach you how to implement a business diversity program to empower you with the knowledge and skills to articulate the ROI, while building diverse community partnerships and wealth equity for minority and women-owned businesses. 

Business Diversity instructor, Courtney Davis Curtis

Courtney Davis Curtis

Assistant Vice President for Risk Management and Resilience Planning, University of Chicago

Courtney Davis Curtis is the Assistant Vice President for Risk Management and Resilience Planning at the University of Chicago, where she provides leadership and direction to senior managers, working to identify, evaluate, and plan strategies for the enterprise-wide insurance programs. Her focus is...

Learn more about Courtney

Business Diversity instructor, Mark Fehlberg

Mark Fehlberg, MBA

Assistant VP, Procurement and Payment Services, University of Chicago

Mark Fehlberg is the Assistant VP, Procurement and Payment Services at the University of Chicago. Mark joined the University of Chicago in 2010 and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Procure-to-Pay functions for the university. Prior to arriving at the university he served 20 years in...

Learn more about Mark

Business Diversity instructor, John Hillesland

John Hillesland

Category Lead for HR and Professional Services, University of Chicago

John Hillesland is the Category Lead for HR and Professional Services at the University of Chicago. John holds a master’s degree in Global Supply Chain Management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Iowa. 

In his current role...

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Business Diversity instructor, Connie Lindsey

Connie L. Lindsey

Corporate Executive, former Executive Vice President at Northern Trust

Connie L. Lindsey is a former Executive Vice President at Northern Trust, Chicago. She was the first African-American woman to be named Executive Vice President in the history of the firm. Prior to her retirement in November, 2021, she was responsible for the design and implementation of the global...

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Business Diversity instructor, Malik Murray

Malik Murray

Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development, Institutional Marketing

Malik joined Ariel in 2004 and focuses on institutional business development and client services. Previously, he spent eight years with Bank One Brokerage, most recently serving as the lead broker on the European shift for its international exchange-traded products group. Outside of Ariel, Malik is...

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Nadia M. Quarles, UChicago AVP of Business Diversity

Nadia M. Quarles

AVP of Business Diversity, University of Chicago

Nadia Quarles is a thought leader and visionary diversity, equity, and inclusion strategist with a bold vision and mission to advance opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses. As the Assistant Vice President for Business Diversity at the University of Chicago, Nadia is responsible for...

Learn more about Nadia

Business Diversity instructor, Kim Waller

Kim Waller, MS

Senior Client Partner, Organizational Strategy and Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Kim Waller serves Korn Ferry clients by bringing strategic enterprise-wide solutions that deliver high impact. Her approach is to help organizations move from theory to action through the power of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Ms. Waller has built talent and risk management strategies for...

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Leadership Roles in Procurement and Supplier Diversity

These titles cover a range of roles that impact business and supplier diversity, from managing supply chains and distribution to strategic sourcing positions. Depending on the organization and its specific needs, job titles may vary, but these are common positions in the field that can benefit from our supplier diversity program.

  • Chief Procurement Officer
  • Sr. Manager Procurement
  • Procurement Managers
  • Director of Procurement and Business Diversity
  • Officer of Procurement and DEI
  • Procurement Specialist 
  • Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Director of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Business Development Manager
  • Supplier Diversity Manager
  • Strategic Sourcing Manager

How to Enroll

Please follow these steps to ensure that you successfully register for the course:

  • Log into UChicago's course registration portal by creating an account using a valid username and password.
  • Navigate to the "Course search" tab and search for "Inclusive Business and Supplier Diversity Strategies" or by Course ID "BUSD11001A."
  • Once you locate the course, click on "Add to Cart" to include it in your course selection. Make sure to check the course schedule, prerequisites, and class capacity before proceeding.
  • Review your course selections and click on "Proceed to Checkout" to complete the registration process.

Note: that registration for courses opens during specific periods. Ensure you check the schedule on our website for upcoming deadlines, especially if you want to secure a spot in this high-demand class.

Train. Diversify. Grow.

Sign up now and earn up to 10% off tuition for our business diversity course. Seats are limited. Reserve your spot today.

  • 10% off tuition with early bird registration for the last month before program launch. Use code bd-eb-web at checkout
  • 15% off tuition for attendees of the upcoming course information session (TBD).
  • 15% off tuition for federal and state, educational institution, and nonprofit employees.
  • 15% off tuition for group enrollments of 2 or more.

Our discount policy ensures fairness and simplicity for all participants. Please note that discounts cannot be combined, and only one code can be applied per checkout.

Register Now Get In Touch

Our programs require advance preparation and demand often exceeds capacity, so it is important that you contact us in a timely manner if you must cancel your attendance. To receive a full refund, notice of cancellation must be received more than 30 days in advance of the program start date. Cancellations received between 30 and 14 days in advance are eligible for a 50% refund. Cancellations received less than 14 days in advance of the program are not eligible for a refund.

The University of Chicago reserves the right to cancel a program at any time for any reason. In the unlikely event of a program cancellation, paid program fees will be refunded, but the university is not responsible for any travel or other related expenses accrued by the program registrant. For more information, please contact us today


The Study at University of Chicago
1227 E 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637

Room and Lodging
  • Room block available $219/night
  • Check-in: 3:00 p.m.
  • Check-out: 12:00 p.m.

Call: 773.643.1600

Book online: The Study at University of Chicago

Why Hiring Diverse Businesses Matters

Seeking training for how to diversify your business management processes is much more than a socially conscious move. It can build value for your organization in many ways, including:

  • Improved job performance. Training in business diversity can help individuals improve their job performance by developing a deeper understanding of concepts, methods, and best practices to a sustainable business diversity program. This can lead to more efficient and effective processes and better decision-making.
  • Career advancement: Training in business diversity can help individuals advance their careers by demonstrating their knowledge and skills in the field. Employers often value employees who have demonstrated a commitment to professional development and have acquired relevant certifications and training.
  • Increased efficiency and cost savings: Training in business diversity can help organizations improve their business management processes, resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings. By learning how to negotiate better contracts, evaluate suppliers, and manage relationships with vendors, individuals can help their organizations save money and operate more effectively.
  • Compliance with regulations and standards: Many industries and government agencies have regulations and standards that govern procurement processes. Training in business diversity can help individuals and organizations understand these regulations and standards, ensuring that they are in compliance and avoiding potential legal or financial penalties.
  • Enhanced vendor relationships: Good vendor relationships are essential for successful procurement. Training in business diversity can help individuals develop the skills to manage these relationships effectively, improving communication, reducing conflicts, and fostering long-term partnerships.
52 %

A recent survey found 52 percent of respondents saying they’d prefer working for a company that has a supplier diversity and inclusion program. See the full report.

Immersive Course Format

The in-person course format will help drive understanding and take-away skills as you actively learn from and share knowledge with professional peers. The course will be held on the Hyde Park campus at the David Rubenstein Forum, a facility designed specifically for UChicago students as a physical expression of UChicago's academic character and representative in quality and quantity of student spacing and design needs. No prerequisites or application submission is required to enroll. Connect with an advisor today to reserve a spot in our course this summer.

Rubenstein forum.

Procure the Playbook for Business Diversity

Nadia M. Quarles, UChicago AVP of Business Diversity

Partnering with the best talent in the marketplace means that we must look with a broad lense and seek the innovation and expertise that comes from minority and women-owned businesses.

Nadia M. Quarles | UChicago AVP of Business Diversity

Conferred by The University of Chicago's Office of Business Diversity