The Pittsburgh Regional Diversity Survey – Job Sectors



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How workers view diversity in the workplace and region can vary significantly depending on the industry sector in which they work.

African American, Asian and Hispanic and residents of mixed race hold 11 percent of the jobs across those sectors in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, according to 2013 U.S. Census Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program data.

The Pittsburgh Regional Diversity Survey includes the responses of workers across 20 industry sectors as defined by the North American Industry Classification System. Survey data from eight of those sectors were examined to compare the perspectives of white and minority workers in sectors within the MSA where minorities hold at least 11 percent of the jobs (high-minority representation) and job sectors where minority workers hold less than 11 percent of the jobs (low minority representation).

The four high-minority representation sectors examined were: health care and social assistance; finance and insurance; public administration; and information, which includes publishing, broadcasting, telecommunications and data processing.

The four low-minority representation sectors examined were: education; professional, scientific and technical services; utilities; and other services, which includes repair and maintenance, personal service and private household work.

Employer commitment

Workers in job sectors with high minority representation are more likely than those employed in low-minority sectors to feel their employer is very committed to hiring minorities and recruiting a diverse workforce, regardless of their race and ethnicity.

And white workers in sectors where minorities hold at least 11 percent of the jobs are the most likely of all employees surveyed to give their employers high marks for hiring minorities, recruiting a diverse workforce and promoting and advancing minorities.

There are, however, significant differences in views. For example, 61 percent of whites in the high-minority industry sectors say their employer is very committed to recruiting and hiring minorities, while only 32 percent of minorities in the same sectors describe their employer’s commitment that way. In sectors where minority representation is low, only 48 percent of white workers and 35 percent of minority workers believe their employer is very committed to hiring minorities.

Work environment

Regardless of whether they work in industry sectors where minority representation is high or low, minorities are much more likely than whites to strongly agree there is value in a very diverse workplace.

Racial and ethnic minorities in sectors where they make up at least 11 percent of the workforce are the most likely to feel that way. Nearly 83 percent strongly believe that to be true. The least likely of workers to agree are whites with jobs in industry sectors where minority representation is low. Only 62 percent of those workers feel strongly that a diverse workforce has value.

But it is white workers who are the most likely to find their workplace to be “very diverse.”The largest gap in perceptions is seen in industry sectors with high minority representation, where more than 38 percent of white workers say their workplace is very diverse while fewer than 18 percent of minorities agree.

The majority of workers across industry sectors don’t feel race and ethnicity is a factor that influences promotions where they work. Among those who do, however, minorities in sectors where minority representation is high are the most likely to see their race or ethnicity as a disadvantage. Some 36 percent feel that way, compared with 15 percent of white workers in the same sector, and 25 percent of minorities and 11 percent of whites employed in industry sectors where minority representation is low.

Job satisfaction

The highest rate of job satisfaction is found among white workers in industry sectors where minority representation is low. More than 53 percent say they are very satisfied with their job.

Minorities in general are less likely than whites to be satisfied with their job. But the lowest job satisfaction is found among racial and ethnic minorities in sectors where they have 11 percent of the jobs or more. Only 32 percent are very satisfied with their job and more than 20 percent are dissatisfied with what they do for a living.


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

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