The Corporate Equity & Inclusion Roundtable concluded that the best way to increase diversity and inclusion in Pittsburgh businesses is for companies to share successful practices in hiring employees and contractors with others.
Representatives of institutions such as the Pittsburgh Penguins, PNC Bank and UPMC as well as community organizations committed last week to working together to identify polices that will expand diversity within the work force.
Among those who spoke to the roundtable was Steelers president Art Rooney II, who told of successes businesses have had adopting a version of the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires that one minority be interviewed for every vacant head coaching job.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was joined this morning at the Allegheny County Courthouse by several individuals involved with last week's conversation.
Mr. Fitzgerald said it became clear to him that there needed to be change in Pittsburgh after it was named the nation's second least diverse metropolitan area by a Brookings Institution report in 2011 that examined Census data.
Robert DeMichiei, senior vice president and chief financial officer of UPMC, said there are significant efforts already in place by many corporations within the region, although he did not offer specifics.
One problem Mr. DeMichiei said needs to be addressed is that the best way of proceeding is not shared with others. To improve diversity, representatives of corporations must be clear in discussing what works and what does not work.
Mr. Fitzgerald said that years ago, African-Americans would leave the Pittsburgh area upon graduation because they knew they could not get the types of jobs they deserve.
"Now, we want them to know there are opportunities here," Mr. Fitzgerald said.
Mr. Fitzgerald said representatives of the corporate community will reconvene next year to discuss progress.
Jessica Tully: email@example.com, 412-263-1159 and on Twitter: @jessalynn4.