Does your workplace have any policies that address diversity and inclusion? How committed is your supervisor to increasing racial and ethnic diversity at work? How welcoming do you think Pittsburgh is?

Vibrant Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Today invite Western Pennsylvania workers to take a 10-minute survey, online until September 25th, to share experiences and perspectives on the subject of diversity. The goal? To help employers and the region become more welcoming and inclusive to better attract a skilled workforce.

The results of my survey project, due in November, will provide valuable information about how people currently experience diversity-related issues in the workplace and community. It’s “information that can serve as a good foundation for strategic decisions on how to attract and retain racial and ethnic workers,” says Doug Heuck, director of Pittsburgh Today.

“The Allegheny Conference (on Community Development) reports that somewhere between 100,000 and 140,000 looming retirements are imminent based on our aging workforce,” says Melanie Harrington, president and CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh.  “We don’t have a sufficient number of people in our workforce to back spill that number.”

One strategy to help fill that workforce gap is to accelerate the growth of diversity of our workforce, Heuck says.

Southwestern Pennsylvania is one of the whitest regions in the country, according to The Workforce Diversity Indicator Initiative Report, published in March.

“African American, Asian and Hispanic workers hold 11 percent of the jobs in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area – the smallest share seen across the 15 U.S. metropolitan regions examined,” as reported in The Workforce Diversity Indicator Initiative Report, based on information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

That’s well below the average of 25 percent. Atlanta, by comparison, has a 44 percent minority workforce.

“We will look at those experiences, views and perspectives (from the survey) along these diversity lines to see if there are things that we can learn that will ultimately lead to some actionable things that we can do,” says Harrington.

The next step is to distribute and promote the survey results and engage a broad cross section of the region in various action steps and best practices.

“We try and work very collaboratively with a lot of different organizations, particularly our diverse community-based groups throughout the region,” says Harrington. Check here for a list of these groups.

The goal is to get the response of about 5,000 survey takers. “We want a great understanding of how things really are for people,” Heuck adds.

Take the survey here.

Laurie Bailey is a freelance writer who has reported for many local publications. When she isn't writing she serves as a media consultant for nonprofits and other local companies.