The initiative’s collaborators think the business case for diversity will make other corporations want to jump on board. They point to predictions, such as one made by the United States Census Bureau, that Whites will be the minority by 2043, as indicators of the importance of embracing diversity in the sustainability of a business.

“It will become more of an expectation for corporate industries to take this on,” said Tim Stevens, chairman of the Black Political Empowerment Project, who is the driving force behind the initiative. “This is no longer a conversation of maybe we should do it; we must do it. That’s the difference with where we are today and where we used to be.”

Other participants in the initiative include the Chester Engineers, Jones Day, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Vibrant Pittsburgh, Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board, Sustainable Pittsburgh, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, the African American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Pittsburgh, the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, Community College of Allegheny County, Highmark Inc., and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fitzgerald said another Corporate Equity and Inclusion Roundtable event will be scheduled for next year. In the meantime one of the initiative’s action teams plans to meet again on June 17 to look at the data and best practices of companies who have strong diversity programs.

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