“I have my own home, I have my son with me and I owe it to the great job and training I have,” he said.

Another idea designed to increase the number of Black executives in Pittsburgh companies to the level it was in the 1990s—and beyond—was presented by Highmark Senior Vice President for Community Affairs Evan Frazier. He envisioned a pipeline that, via education, executive coaching and professional sponsorship, would target the unique challenges of Black executives and build their numbers.

The idea was so well received that the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business will begin such a program to help inaugurate the opening of the new Tepper School building on the campus next year.

But for a truly holistic approach to building diversity to the point where it isn’t even second nature, but first nature—keynote speaker and University of Pittsburgh Senior Vice Chancellor for engagement Kathy Humphrey said Pitt is it.

“We are trying to develop a culture of inclusion—we don’t proclaim to have it right, but we are going beyond a vision plan, beyond a plan—we are implementing this to where diversity and inclusion is ingrained in the very fiber of out institution,” she said.

“We are talking in hiring, in management in our student body and in our vendors. We’re not doing this because its trendy or nice, we’re doing this because celebrating our differences is good business and gives us new ideas that will advance our research, our instruction and our services.”

 

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