The Buffalo Niagara Partnership — the regional chamber of commerce — sent a survey to over 12,000 local private and public-sector businesses to assess how workplaces across the region are fostering diversity and inclusion.
The organization’s annual survey revealed that 65% of its members struggled with workplace diversity in 2019. That was a 16% increase from 2018, according to the Partnership.
“We see a growing desire and concern around the challenges in hiring a more diverse workforce,” said CEO Dottie Gallagher.
Concerns about workplace diversity have been on the Partnership’s mind for about four years, according to Gallagher. The organization already has a Diversity and Inclusion Academy and Executive Exchange to provide local businesses with resources and training to promote diversity.
“The assessment was really part of the plan all along,” Gallagher said. “The assessment goals are really to figure out where employers are right now, where they want to go, and how we as a partnership and the rest of the economic development community can help get them there.”
The survey will be available for businesses until July 7, at which point the Partnership will evaluate the results, and develop an action plan to provide local businesses with specific strategies to achieve greater diversity and inclusion.