Agrowing number of Pittsburgh-area employers see value in increasing the diversity of the region’s workforce to draw on more of the talents and ideas of minority populations long underrepresented in the workplace.
And in an increasingly diverse world, the more diverse the region, the more appeal it holds for companies looking to relocate or expand and the easier it becomes to attract new talent of all races and ethnicities.
Whether the workers themselves see value in a diverse workforce is another question. Overall, 68 percent of those who participated in the Pittsburgh Regional Diversity Survey “strongly agree” there is value in a diverse workplace.
But an opinion gap exists along racial lines. More than 80 percent of African American, Asian, Hispanic and workers of mixed race strongly agree a diverse workplace has value, while fewer than 64 percent of white workers feel the same way.
Regardless of how much they value diversity, relatively few employees work in a place were diversity has blossomed.
Fewer than 30 percent of workers overall describe their workplace as “very diverse.” And there are significant differences when race and ethnicity is considered: 33 percent of white workers feel their workplace is very diverse, while only 18 percent of minorities describe their workplace as such.
More than 77 percent of workers overall say their employers have policies, practices and goals that address diversity. And more than 82 percent say they have had training on diversity issues.
But that’s not enough to warrant high praise from many of those surveyed.
Only half of workers overall describe their employer as being “very committed” to hiring minority workers. Fewer than 49 percent see their employer as very committed to recruiting a generally diverse workforce. And only 42 percent of all workers surveyed see their employers as being very committed to advancing and promoting minority workers, although another 30 percent describe their employer as “moderately” committed to doing so.
In each case, minorities are much less likely than whites to hold their employer’s commitment in high regard. For example, 55 percent of white workers feel their employer is very committed to hiring racial and ethnic minorities,while 34 percent of minority workers see their employer as having the same level of commitment.
And while 46 percent of white workers say their employer is very committed to advancing and promoting minority workers, fewer than 25 percent of minority workers feel that is the case where they work.
Workers in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area who live in the six counties surrounding Allegheny County are more likely than those living in Allegheny County to see their employers as very committed to hiring minority workers and recruiting a generally diverse workplace. They are also more likely to say the same thing about their employer’s commitment to promoting and advancing minority workers.
White and minority workers tend to hold widely divergent views on whether race and ethnicity influence promotions where they work.
A full 73 percent of white workers don’t believe their race makes a difference compared with 51 percent of minority workers who feel their race or ethnicity isn’t a factor in such decisions. But more than 31 percent of minorities see their race and ethnicity as a disadvantage when it comes to getting promoted, something only 13 percent of whites feel is the case.
A similar pattern in responses is seen when workers are asked whether their race or ethnicity influences their ability to get a pay raise. Overall, 73 percent don’t think it matters—a view held by 78 percent of white workers but only by 55 percent of minority workers.
Affinity or resource groups for people of similar backgrounds do not appear to be a widely used practice to help address diversity issues in workplaces throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. Only 46 percent of all workers surveyed say such groups are available where they work. But while there is little difference among white and minority workers in the availability of affinity groups, white workers are much less likely than minorities to participate in them.
Diversity in the workforce is an issue that has gotten increasing attention in recent years. And more than two-thirds of workers overall say they’re not tired of hearing, reading or learning about it. However, 33 percent of white workers say they are, compared with only 13 percent of the African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and workers of mixed race.
Workers across the region seem fairly content with their jobs. More than 86 percent overall are satisfied to some degree with their work. But there is a fairly large gap between the white and minority workers who say they are “very satisfied” with the job they hold.
Nearly 52 percent of white workers are very satisfied with their job compared with only 34 percent of minority workers. And nearly 20 percent of minority workers say they are dissatisfied with their job while only 12 percent of white workers feel the same.
The Pittsburgh Regional Diversity Survey
- Job Sectors
- Perspectives Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities
- Sexual Orientation
- Survey Methods
- Survey Data