Southwest Airlines® has proudly worked alongside the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) for more than 10 years in an effort to find the most innovative solutions for our supply chain needs. Because the NGLCC operates an extended network of 50-plus affiliate chambers across the country—and nearly every airport we fly to is in close proximity to one of those affiliate locations—Southwest has been able to further expand our reach in the communities we serve.
The NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference is the largest LGBT business event on the planet. One of the highlights of the weeklong celebration of LGBT economic success is the “induction ceremony” for newly certified LGBT-owned businesses. The business owners introduce themselves and their services to the sold-out crowd of corporate buyers, government procurement leaders, and fellow entrepreneurs from around the world.
In addition, Southwest’s Supplier Diversity Program Leaders mentor NGLCC members and meet one-on-one with LGBT Business Enterprises at the NGLCC’s annual conference. The NGLCC began in 2002 when co-founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell realized that the impact of the LGBT community on the American economy had gone largely unnoticed, despite economic equality being an important component of the LGBT equality movement. The co-founders wanted to showcase that many members of the LGBT community are business owners, employers, taxpayers, health care providers, and an essential part of the U.S. economy’s small-business engine. Southwest is one of more than 200 corporate and government partners that have joined together to support the NGLCC.
To take our partnership one-step further, Southwest actively participates in both the NGLCC Procurement Council and the Corporate Advisory Council. Our participation in these councils has allowed us to engage in discussions on LGBT-inclusive supplier diversity, supplier trends, and promoting new opportunities among colleagues across all industry sectors. As part of its Supplier Diversity Initiative, the NGLCC offers LGBT Business Enterprise certification (LGBTBE) for qualifying businesses. Benefits of becoming a certified LGBTBE include building relationships with top corporations, generating prospective business, teaming up with fellow LGBTBEs for contracting opportunities, and receiving access to scholarship programs and leadership training.
To learn more about these opportunities, visit NGLCC.org.