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Are Buffalo Niagara employers embracing diversity?

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (Buffalo News) — Local employers are making headway on diversity, equity and inclusion, but they've still got work to do.

Those are some of the themes from the latest assessment by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, two years after the business group conducted an initial survey.

Dottie Gallagher, the Partnership's president and CEO, said the effort employers put into diversity can have a meaningful impact.

"Our future as a region and our economic prosperity depends heavily on building equity for everybody who’s in our community," she said.

In the latest assessment, 79% of companies said they had started their diversity, equity and inclusion work, up from 72% two years ago. Of the 21% that hadn't started, their reasons included a lack of commitment from leadership, and the small size of their companies. A total of 271 individuals in Erie and Niagara counties responded to the assessment.

There was a 120% increase in companies that had set measurable and concrete goals, Gallagher said. "There is still great room for improvement but the needle is moving in the right direction." Those goals include procurement; the percentage of employees who are Black, indigenous and people of color; marketing practices; and community outreach.

Read more here.

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