OMAHA, Neb., October 22, 2021 – As part of their third annual Conference on Opportunity, Diversity and Equity the Greater Omaha Chamber released results from a diversity and inclusion assessment conducted through area businesses. The participating companies are members of the Chamber’s Employer Coalition for CODE (Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity and Equity). This year’s assessment received 3,735 individual responses.
The assessment results showed that overwhelmingly individual respondents valued diversity and inclusion themselves (94% favorable) and indicated that their organization has a vision or mission statement for its diversity and inclusion initiative (90% favorable). However, these responses did not show that organizations were consistently recognizing or rewarding contributions toward diversity and inclusivity (49% favorable).
“Area employers showed progress from last year, but there is always work to be done” said Bianca Harley, senior director, diversity and inclusion at the Greater Omaha Chamber, “We’re glad that so many respondents felt their organizations had a mission guiding their diversity and inclusion practices. Now our area employers can focus on setting goals and acting toward achieving them. That’s the next milestone.”
One important takeaway from the assessment is that the Omaha-area workforce, from individual contributors to executive-level leaders, is still disproportionately represented by white individuals at 86% of top leadership positions and 82% of individual contributors.
“That continues to be one of our region’s biggest opportunities,” said Todd Johnson, senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Omaha Chamber, “We can expand our available workforce by increasing minority participation across all our companies and industries. There is untapped potential across our entire region. Creating opportunities for everyone to thrive will elevate the entire workforce.”
“There are entire communities who have, previously, been denied access to our economic prosperity,” noted Harley, “We need to keep breaking down those barriers.”