The Pittsburgh Regional Diversity Survey – Perspectives Among Racial & Ethnic Minorities



Southwestern Pennsylvania’s minority community might have a different take on diversity than white residents, but differences in perspectives also exist among Asian, African American, Hispanic and multi-racial residents. And the differences among minorities can be significant.

In the workplace

The survey strongly suggests that a diverse workplace is something dear to minorities, much more so than white residents. And none of those surveyed value a diverse workforce more than African Americans. Nearly 85 percent strongly believe it is important.

But African Americans are the least likely to be impressed with what they find in the workplace. Only 31 percent see their employers as “very committed” to hiring minorities compared with 55 percent of white workers who feel that way about their employer’s commitment.

Other minorities are also less willing than white workers to give employers high marks for recruiting and hiring minorities: 35 percent of Hispanic workers, 38 percent of workers of mixed race and 43 percent of Asian workers feel their employers are very committed to doing so.

African Americans surveyed also are the least likely of minority workers to say their employers are very committed to recruiting a generally diverse workforce, promoting a generally diverse workforce, advancing racial and ethnic minorities on the job and—along with workers of mixed race—to describe where they work as being “very diverse.”

They also have the lowest job satisfaction rate among minorities. Only 31 percent of African Americans are “very satisfied” with their job. By comparison, half of the Asian workers say they are very satisfied with their job.

Asian workers are also the most likely of minorities to feel their employers are very committed to recruiting a generally diverse workforce and to promoting a generally diverse workforce. And Asian and multi-racial employees are the most likely to feel their employers are very committed to promoting racial and ethnic minorities at work.

The majority of minority workers feel their race or ethnicity would either be an advantage in seeking a promotion or wouldn’t be a factor in the decision. However, 38 percent of African American workers feel their race would be a disadvantage, compared to 28 percent of Asian workers, 21 percent of Hispanic workers and 16 percent of mixed-race workers who feel the same way.

In the community

The survey suggests that a significant number of racial and ethnic minorities would like southwestern Pennsylvania to become more diverse and accepting.

Residents of mixed race are the most likely to see the region as “very diverse,” but fewer than 21 percent describe it that way. And only 15 percent of Hispanics, 9 percent of Asians and fewer than 9 percent of African Americans agree with that description.

A sizable majority of African American, Asian, Hispanic and mixed-race residents say living in a diverse neighborhood is important to them. However, no more than 20 percent of the people in any minority group live in neighborhoods they describe as “very diverse.”

Minorities feel much less welcome in southwestern Pennsylvania than whites. The most likely minority to say they feel “very welcome” are Asian residents, yet fewer than 50 percent feel that way. Fewer than 46 percent of Hispanics and 42 percent of mixed race residents also say they feel very welcome. And only 26 percent of African American residents feel very welcome in the region.

Asian residents are the most likely of minority residents to have lived someplace other than southwestern Pennsylvania. More than 87 percent have done so. And they are the most likely to say the region compares favorably to other places they’ve lived – 61 percent describe the Pittsburgh area as “much more” or “somewhat more” welcoming. Among Hispanic residents, 55 percent feel the region is a more welcoming place than where they have previously lived.

African Americans,the least likely of minority residents to have lived elsewhere, are the least likely to feel the same way. Only 28 percent feel southwestern Pennsylvania is more welcoming and 61 percent feel it is less welcoming than other places they’ve lived.

Yet most minorities would definitely or probably recommend southwestern Pennsylvania to others. That’s the sentiment of 86 percent of Asian and 85 percent of Hispanic residents. But an endorsement from African American residents is much less of a sure thing: only 58 percent say they probably or definitely would recommend the region.

To view a PDF version of the report, click here. To view the complete survey data by category, click here. Separate sections of the report are listed below.

The Pittsburgh Regional Diversity Survey