Illuminating LGBTQ Awareness at Coupa

Jason Summers
Jason Summers
Senior Director, Customer Support, Coupa Software

Jason Summers is one of the founding sponsors of Illuminate, Coupa’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, in addition to his job as a leader in Coupa’s Value Services organization focused on customer and engineering support. Jason’s involvement in LGBTQ causes includes three years raising funds for the AIDS Lifecycle. He has also volunteered locally for Gay for Good and Second Harvest food bank.

Read time: 3 mins

Jason Summers, CoupaIn support of Pride Month – the recognition of the human rights for a wide range of people who may identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or many other non-heterosexual groups – we are proud to announce Illuminate, Coupa’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group (ERG).

Coupa encourages ERG groups to have an expanded purpose. For me, that means how can we enable customers to use the Coupa platform to further inclusion and sustainability. To that end, Illuminate’s purpose is to support our LGBTQ+ community by inspiring connection, inclusiveness, and diversity. We respect gender fluidity and non-traditional family units, advocate for equality and fairness, and foster opportunities for stewardship and growth in our local communities. 

How procurement can make a difference in the LGBTQ community

Many companies have groups aligned to LGBTQ employees, such as Coupa’s Illuminate group. Some companies have a corporate social responsibility and/or supplier diversity programs. Yet, few companies have these programs fully aligned to support people, planet, and profitability. While most human resource (HR) functions can take care of employees, imagine the impact that harnessing your company’s spend could have on your community and society.

Here are some areas to consider when looking at your procurement function as it relates to the LGBTQ communities:

  • Know your spend: How much of your company’s money goes to LGBTQ suppliers? (Best in class is over 1%)  
  • Engage HR and LGBTQ ERG resources: Know your HR policies for LGBTQ employees so you can calibrate how your suppliers’ employee programs compare. Find out what program(s) are important to your ERG groups (examples below). 
    • Address discrimination, governmental interference (laws, marriage), and society at large (religion, hate speech, intolerance), especially outside of developed countries where your supply chain may exist
    • Support LGBTQ youth and families with children who are queer, questioning, or gender non-conforming, and non-traditional family units
  • Actively support suppliers with your LGBTQ goals: Move beyond supplier diversity certification programs and engage all suppliers during proposal/RFP/sourcing events and contract negotiations. Engage suppliers with joint programs in your respective communities around ERG programs.

How Coupa helps with inclusion and sustainability

Coupa's recent acquisition of ConnXus, which is now part of the Coupa Business Spend Management platform, can help companies find great LGBTQ suppliers while giving those customers improved visibility into the impact of their business spend in their communities. Finally, Coupa can help provide governance and visibility that reduces risk and provides value to our people and planet. Join me, Illuminate, and all our communities to make an outsized impact on social change.  

For more information about supplier inclusion, see Integrating a Divided World Through Procurement