With last month being Black History Month and March being named Women’s History Month, now is the time to remember and celebrate the brave men and women who have historically fought against societal adversity to become inspiring success stories. While there is still work to be done, it’s encouraging to see how far we have come as a city to embrace and encourage diversity.
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.
Since the start of the program, the City has experienced unprecedented results. City of Pittsburgh job applications have increased by more than 500%, achieving the highest amount of applications ever in the City’s history. This increase in applicants resulted in minority applicants increasing by 60%, female hires increasing by 40%, and minority hires increasing by 50% (more than any other period in history).
DiverseCity 365 has achieved community engagement and recruitment success thanks to a number of efforts, including:
· partnering with more than 500 community organizations,
· making the application process user-friendly,
· providing preparation resources and guidance,
· offering community assistance centers,
· eliminating fees and other obstacles to employment,
· providing opportunity to meet key City leaders,
· and by traveling to our neighborhoods to describe the dynamics of City employment.
Since its launch, the DiverseCity 365 program’s tangible and intangible results have disrupted traditional and historical trends of inequity and exclusion. The program is not just about increasing applicants and the statistics of hires, it’s also about impact – the change in perception, community and culture. I’m proud of this program’s successes to date, and look forward to continuing to see results. I encourage other employers to adopt programs similar to DiverseCity 365 so that we as a city can continue to promote diversity and inclusion.
If you were unable to visit the City’s exhibit “A City of Rhythm: A Tribute to African America Music in Pittsburgh” last month, I encourage you to visit the numerous events taking place this month throughout the City that celebrate the inspiring women that make up Pittsburgh’s rich history.
Mayor, City of Pittsburgh