Vibrant Pittsburgh releases annual report on ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’

Vibrant Pittsburgh President and CEO Sabrina Saunders Mosby

Vibrant Pittsburgh is watching local corporations and nonprofits like a hawk.

The organization is looking for “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” to be a hallmark at local companies, as the organization recently released its 2020 “Vibrant Index” report. Four organizations were deemed “Vibrant Champions” for its commitment to DEI; however, as Vibrant’s report stated, an organizational designation of Vibrant Champion “does not convey perfection.”

Those organizations are: Community College of Allegheny County; UPMC; PNC Bank; and The Pittsburgh Promise. Out of the 78 local organizations that participated in Vibrant Pittsburgh’s voluntary Index Diagnostic about issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the four aforementioned organizations scored at or above the 95th percentile.

MARSHA JONES, Chief Diversity Officer, PNC Financial Services.

QUINTIN BULLOCK, D.D.S., president of Community College of Allegheny County.

JAMES E. TAYLOR, PH.D., Chief Diversity Officer, UPMC.

SALEEM GHUBRIL, executive director, Pittsburgh Promise. (Photo by J.L. Martello) 

The Vibrant Index was performed in collaboration with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

“I can proudly acknowledge that each of this year’s Vibrant Champions are long-term Vibrant member organizations. Each Vibrant Champion named is at a different stage in their respective Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey but making strides to commit to the promising practices that we know really work,” said Vibrant Pittsburgh President and CEO Sabrina Saunders Mosby, in an interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier, Sept. 21. “I commend them for their efforts and commitment to this work and the greater Pittsburgh region.”

Vibrant Pittsburgh said participation in the report increased by 56 percent, though the organization wants to see many more companies take part in the annual report. The 2020 report’s 78 factions represented 118,098 employees, or about 11 percent of the region’s total working population.

The participating organizations were asked questions in 10 impact areas: Written Commitment and Transparency; Benefits and Policies; Employee Networks; Leadership; Training and Education; Accountability Metrics; Talent Engagement and Recruitment; Supplier Diversity; Community Engagement; and 2020—Organizational Response to the Pandemic, Protests, and Sociopolitical Unrest.

The report found that: 94 percent of respondents reported that developing an inclusive culture was a top priority for their DEI initiatives; 85 percent of respondents offered Employee Assistance Programs; 78 percent of respondents state explicitly that they do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation; and 76 percent of respondents have an internal advising body dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

“Vibrant Pittsburgh is considered an inclusion partner in the region,” Mosby said. “We know that our region’s future hinges on our ability to attract and retain a diversity of talent. So, Vibrant works with organizations to cement Pittsburgh as a career destination of choice for people of all backgrounds, including people of color.”

The Vibrant Index Report did note that just 35 percent of the responding organizations’ leaders had signed a public pledge to support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Mosby, with that stat in hand, responded: “Each organization that chose to participate in the Vibrant Index intentionally took a step towards improving the practices and policies that we know can build more inclusive workplace cultures. Because organizations are looking at this data, (it) means they can shape and shift their investments for the better. We recommend that companies sign a public pledge, and the benefit of signing establishes a shared urgency and creates positive peer pressure around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. My hope is that each organization in our region takes action that outlives the sentiments in statements and/or pledges.”

Mosby also told the Courier exclusively she wants to see more organizations participate in the Vibrant Index Report. “All dedicated organizations must participate fully in the Vibrant Index initiative, utilizing the Diagnostic annually and committing to tackle this work to improve our region.”

“Recognition as a Vibrant Champion is significant and meaningful for CCAC,” said Kimberly Manigault, vice president of the school’s Human Resources, in a statement to the Courier. “This distinction reflects the story we tell through our mission: to provide access to high quality education in a diverse, caring and innovative learning environment, upholding our core values of diversity, community, integrity and learning. Diversity standards are integrated into our hiring process, and diversity is a designated competency on our performance appraisals. The Vibrant Champion award affirms these actions.”

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