The important Procurement message from Traitors

As a white female, delving into the discussion of unconscious bias might seem like stepping into territory that isn’t inherently mine to navigate. I feel nervous even writing this, I understand how as a white woman I have a level of privilege. 

However, recent experiences, such as watching the UK reality TV show “The Traitors,” and developing my female leadership programme have shed light on the pervasive nature of unconscious bias and its profound impact on decision-making processes. It’s made me feel uncomfortable and ignited a passion within me to understand this phenomenon better and advocate for its recognition, particularly within the realm of procurement.

“The Traitors” serves as a poignant reminder that unconscious bias is not confined to specific contexts but permeates various facets of society, including reality television. I found it fascinating that in the UK Traitors series 2, a young, blonde, very sweet woman was never suspected to be a traitor, yet anyone who was of an ethnic minority background or a strong outspoken female was under suspicion straight away.  I understand that this is a show and that we cannot see all the interactions but while I was riveted to the show, I found this aspect really fascinating and slightly uncomfortable

Through developing my Female Leaders in Procurement Leadership programme I have delved deeper into unconscious bias, and it impacts us all.  Rather than being defensive about this, I want us all to be more curious and to investigate what these might be for us all.  Particularly for those of us involved in the procurement and supply chain function.

How a person thinks can depend on their life experiences and sometimes they have beliefs and views about other people that might not be right or reasonable.

This is known as ‘unconscious bias’ and includes when a person thinks:

  • better of someone because they believe they’re alike
  • less of someone because that person is different to them, for example, they might be of a different race, religion or age



Procurement, as a critical function within organisations, plays a pivotal role in shaping supplier relationships, negotiating contracts, and ultimately impacting the success of business operations. Here are compelling reasons why training in unconscious bias is indispensable for procurement professionals:

1. Supplier Diversity and Inclusion
Effective procurement strategies prioritise supplier diversity and inclusion, recognising the value of a diverse supplier base in driving innovation and fostering resilience. However, unconscious biases can inadvertently influence supplier selection processes, leading to missed opportunities for engaging with minority-owned businesses or marginalised communities. Training in unconscious bias equips procurement professionals with the awareness and tools necessary to foster an inclusive procurement environment and promote diversity among suppliers.

2. Fair and Ethical Decision-Making
Unconscious biases can subconsciously sway procurement decisions, resulting in unfair treatment or preferential treatment towards certain suppliers. This compromises the integrity of procurement processes and undermines trust both internally and externally. By undergoing training in unconscious bias, procurement professionals cultivate a heightened sense of self-awareness and develop strategies to mitigate bias in decision-making, ensuring fairness, and ethical conduct throughout the procurement lifecycle.

3. Risk Mitigation and Compliance
Failure to address unconscious bias in procurement can pose significant risks to organisations, ranging from reputational damage to legal liabilities. Biased decision-making may inadvertently lead to non-compliance with anti-discrimination laws or breach of ethical standards, exposing organisations to costly repercussions. Training in unconscious bias empowers procurement professionals to identify and mitigate potential risks associated with bias, thereby safeguarding the organisation’s reputation and ensuring regulatory compliance.

4. Enhanced Stakeholder Relationships
Procurement professionals interact with a diverse range of stakeholders, including internal teams, suppliers, and external partners. Unconscious bias has the potential to strain these relationships by eroding trust and fostering perceptions of favouritism or discrimination. By fostering a culture of awareness and inclusivity through training in unconscious bias, procurement professionals can cultivate stronger, more collaborative relationships built on mutual respect and transparency.

While discussing unconscious bias may initially feel uncomfortable or unfamiliar, it’s a conversation that we cannot afford to ignore, especially within the realm of procurement. By acknowledging our inherent biases and proactively addressing them through training and education, we can foster a more equitable and inclusive procurement landscape that drives sustainable business success. As procurement professionals, it’s incumbent upon us to embrace this journey towards bias awareness and advocate for positive change within our organisations and beyond.

A heavy message but an important one for sure. It’s something we’ve been exploring and discussing on the FLiP programme (the topic AND the programme 😆).

PS Traitors is spectacular television.

Level 3 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M3
6
15th Jan, 29th Jan, 5th Feb, 19th Feb, 26th Feb, 4th Mar
May 2024
M4
3
15th Apr, 22nd Apr, 29th Apr
July 2024
M5
3
3rd June, 10th June, 24th June
Nov 2024
M1
3
7th Oct, 21st Oct, 4th November
Mar 2025
M2&M3
6
13th Jan, 20th Jan, 27th Jan, 10th Feb, 24th Feb, 3rd March
May 2025
M4
3
7th Apr, 14th Apr, 28th Apr
July 2025
M5
3
2nd June, 16th June, 30th June

Level 6 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M5
5
25th Jan, 1st Feb, 8th Feb, 22nd Feb, 29th Feb
May 2024
M4 & M7
4
18th April, 25th April, 2nd May, 9th May
July 2024
M3 & M8
5
30th May, 20th June, 27th June, 4th July, 11th July
November 2024
M1
3
10th Oct, 24th Oct, 7th Nov
Mar 2025
M2 & M5
5
30th Jan, 6th Feb, 13th Feb, 27th Feb, 6th Mar
May 2025
M4 & M7
4
3rd April, 10th April, 1st May, 8th May
July 2025
M3 & M8
5
5th June, 12th June, 19th June, 26th June, 3rd July

Level 5 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M5, M15 & M9
4
31st Jan, 7th Feb, 21st Feb, 28th Feb, 6th March
May 2024
M3 & M8
4
10th April, 17th April, 24th April, 1st May
July 2024
M4
3
5th June, 11th June, 26th June
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
9th Oct, 16th Oct, 23rd Oct, 30th Oct, 6th Nov
Mar 2025
M15, M5, M9
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M3 & M8
4
9th April, 16th April, 30th April, 7th June
July 2025
M4
3
4th June, 18th June, 2nd July

Level 4 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M3, M5, M7
6
23rd Jan, 30th Jan, 6th Feb, 20th Feb, 27th Feb, 5th March
May 2024
M4 & M6
4
9th April, 16th April, 23rd April, 30th April
July 2024
M8
3
4th June, 18th June, 3rd July
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
8th Oct, 15th Oct, 22nd Oct, 29th Oct, 5th Nov
March 2025
M3, M5, M7
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M4 & M6
4
8th April, 15th April, 29th April, 6th June
July 2025
M8
3
10th June, 24th June, 8th July