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ACCESS to Diversity

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Did you know?   Of the 23 million nonfarm businesses in the US in 2008, women owned more than six million of them. These firms generated more than $940 billion in revenues, employed more than seven million workers, and had more than $173 billion in payroll. The 2007 Small Business Administration study, Minorities in Business: A demographic review of Minority Business Ownership, well establishes that by 2010, four out of ten businesses will be minority owned.

So what do those numbers mean for Southwest Airlines?  It means a wider variety of suppliers, ideas, and opportunities for our Company.    That’s why for more than 20 years, Southwest Airlines has promoted and opened its doors to local minority-owned businesses through our Supplier Diversity program.

And to celebrate our program, Southwest Airlines was a proud sponsor of the DFW Minority Business Development Council’s 2009 ACCESS tradeshow: Your Business, Your Vision, Your Future, Your Success at the Arlington Convention Center, where more than 800 businesses gathered together to meet, greet, and close deals with the local big corporations.

Southwest Airlines has participated for many years at ACCESS as a corporate sponsor, and opening the doors to minority-owned businesses like Zones, Inc.  Ask Christina Corley, President and COO, of this small but mighty company.

“We met the Southwest Airlines executives at ACCESS 2006 and landed one of our best accounts.  We now provide network and software solutions to one of the biggest carriers in the world,” said Corley.  “We encourage this event to anyone who is serious about their business and wants to create partnerships with companies who support supplier diversity programs like Southwest Airlines.”

Southwest values diversity and seeks to create an environment that encourages and supports diversity both in the workplace and within our supplier base. Our Supplier Diversity Program was designed to enable Southwest to extend opportunities to qualified Small, Disadvantaged, HUBZone, Minority, Woman, Veteran, Service Disabled Veteran, and GLBT-Owned Businesses (Diverse Suppliers). It is the goal of this program to assist Diverse Suppliers in their development as competitive suppliers of products and services.

Click here for more info on our Supplier Diversity.