Pgh diversity increase recognized

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Over a five-year span from 2006 to 2011, the City of Pittsburgh saw an increase in the hiring of minority and female applicants as a result of their DiverseCity 365 program.

Since the program was launched in 2007, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has created the Living Legend Honors Luncheon, to recognize the city’s work toward diversity.

AlexJohnson
ALEX JOHNSON

“When I became mayor, a top priority of mine was to increase diversity among city employees. In 2007, I launched the successful DiverseCity 365 program—a proactive approach to promoting the cultural core values that nurture diversity, eliminate barriers, increase awareness, provide opportunity and ensure inclusion as a deliberate part of daily operations,” Ravenstahl said in a welcoming address. “Since its launching, the program’s tangible and intangible results have disrupted traditional and historical trends of inequity and exclusion.”

This year’s luncheon was held April 30, at the Duquesne University Power Center. The event honored both a City employee and community leader for their efforts to support diversity and inclusion efforts in Pittsburgh.

Community College of Allegheny County President Alex Johnson received this year’s Community Champion of Inclusion award. Johnson listed his grandparents as the driving force behind his success.

“For me, it’s about creating a world where people can stand on my shoulders,” Johnson said. “The focus on diversity and inclusion at CCAC is widespread. We’ve established a number of partnerships that enforce social equality and economic equality. It’s the city and the mayor whose vision we are responding to.”

Beyond CCAC’s commitment to working with minority-and female-owned companies, the college is also working to increase diversity in city employment. In an effort to increase diversity on the police force, the college offers civil service test preparation to public-safety candidates.

This year’s Employee Champion of Inclusion award went to Margaret Lanier, the City’s treasurer and assistant finance director. Lanier is the first woman and the first African-American to hold this position in Pittsburgh.

“I’ll continue to do the work that needs to be done until we get to where we want to be. My granddaughters, they encourage me to keep striving for diversity,” Lanier said. “My motivation comes from my experience and my overall time spent in city government. Every time a wall was put up, I tore it down. Those experiences drove me to succeed. I want to leave a legacy for my grandchildren. I don’t want them to see races or color.”

Lanier is a member of the DiverseCity365 Taskforce, which is responsible for employment diversity outreach. She has also led other taskforce initiatives such as the Inclusion Series for Cultural Religious Awareness.

According to data released by the mayor’s office, last year the city hired 123 minorities, compared to 92 in 2006. Similarly, in 2011 they hired 211 women, an increase of more than 25 percent from the 133 hires in 2006.

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