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Keolis is hosting a Supplier Diversity event


Mac Daniel
Keolis is hosting a Supplier Diversity event
Gerald C. Francis, deputy general manager Keolis

Keolis is a worldwide provider of transportation services and proud to be partnered with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in running the T’s commuter rail system, the fifth largest in the country.

In North America, Keolis is a leading provider of passenger transportation services throughout the U.S. and Canada, carrying nearly 50 million people via train, bus and taxi each year through public contracts in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, Quebec, and Virginia. Headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, Keolis has nearly 5,000 employees in North America and is part of Keolis SA, which has nearly $7 billion in annual revenue and carries 2.5 billion passengers in 15 countries worldwide.

But it’s not just about running commuter rail in Boston. Partnered with the T, Keolis has pledged to make strong inroads in partnering with the businesses of Greater Boston, with a particular emphasis on the state’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.

In just about four months, Keolis is already meeting its DBE procurement goal, with average spending in our first two months in Boston at nearly 17 percent. Keolis currently does business with 26 DBEs, six of which are new to the commuter rail system. And Keolis will be has been actively reaching out to the DBE community, providing them with training and mentoring to help them grow their capacity to do business with Keolis.

Keolis efforts to bring in a diverse set of business partners began in March when Keolis named Rita Hardiman as its director of equal employment opportunity (EEO), diversity, and disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) programs. Hardiman is a diversity and multicultural organization development professional with more than 25 years of experience in both the private and public sectors, working with organizations such as CIGNA, Boston Museum of Science, DuPont, and Microsoft Corporation.

At Keolis, Hardiman is responsible for overall workforce diversity with both Keolis employees and subcontractors. This includes overseeing affirmative action, EEO, and DBE programs to ensure compliance with federal and state laws, and Keolis internal policies, which provide for a diverse workplace.

In this role, Hardiman has been managing the EEO, Diversity and DBE Management department which is responsible for creating and implementing diversity plans, monitoring outreach and recruitment activities, overseeing participation of subcontractors including minority and women-owned businesses, and conducting outreach events and partnerships in the local community.

“Rita Hardiman is one of our country’s foremost experts on diversity and managing multicultural organizations. We’re extremely fortunate to have her join the Keolis team and help us build the best local workforce to run the MBTA commuter rail system,” said Gerald Francis, deputy general manager for Keolis.

“This is an exciting time for the hundreds of Keolis employees and subcontractors that will bring excellence to MBTA commuter rail service every day,” Hardiman said. “Our passengers are a diverse cross-section of our entire region, and our employees and subcontractors will be a reflection of all the citizens and cultures that make our local communities so rich.”

Our DBE program is off to a good start thanks in large part to the support and advocacy of Gerald C. Francis, deputy general manager, the commitment of our leadership team to partner with diverse suppliers, and our procurement department, led by Bill Boodry who brings years of experience in working on supplier diversity to Keolis.

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