This week has been massive in terms of sports news in Pittsburgh, primarily due to the hiring of the new Steelers’ head coach, Mike Tomlin.
One thing that has been a frequent topic of sports articles about the hire is that Mr. Tomlin is the Steelers’ first African-American coach and their first coach hired after the “Rooney Rule” was implemented in the NFL in 2002. The Rooney Rule, named after Steelers’ executive Dan Rooney who pushed the NFL to adopt the policy, requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate when they are interviewing for a vacant head coach position.
The Rooney Rule does not require NFL teams to hire a certain percentage of minority head coaches, only to give minority candidates the opportunity to interview for the vacant head coach positions. According to this Post-Gazette article, Mr. Tomlin “acknowledged that the so-called Rooney rule may have helped him get noticed, but not to get the job.”
So what can we take away from this in the private-sector purchasing and supply management field?
It might be that, for purchases that exceed a certain dollar threshold, at least one diversity supplier must be given the opportunity to bid. Not necessarily that a certain percentage of business be set aside for diversity suppliers, just that they be given a fair chance on a level playing field.
So do you think that purchasing and supply management departments should adopt this type of adaptation of the Rooney Rule?
One of the next editions of PurchTips will delve more into the challenges of supplier diversity programs and will discuss whether or not actual-spending-with-diverse-supplier-goals should be used. So stay tuned!