To drive a cultural foundation of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority developed and implemented a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy to build and maintain a diverse workforce and talent pipeline. To equip all employees with the tools to facilitate an inclusive environment, we provided diversity and inclusion training as well as anti-harassment training to foster a work environment where all employees are treated with dignity and respect.
As an agency that serves Pittsburgh, we are striving to create a workforce that represents the diversity of our communities and provides gainful employment opportunities to its residents. In 2021, we participated with the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition by attending two of their recruitment events in person to expand awareness about employment opportunities.
We also released our Water Equity Roadmap, a report developed in partnership with the US Water Alliance and representatives from community-based organizations and academia. The roadmap outlines strategies to advance five high priority water equity priorities, including workforce development, in Pittsburgh. The taskforce continued its collaboration to identify effective strategies to build a more diverse workforce.
Additionally, our Supplier Diversity Program ensures that minority, women, veteran, and service-disabled veteran businesses can participate in contracting opportunities. By providing contracting opportunities for a diversity of businesses, we can help to bolster the economic vitality of our local business community and the Pittsburgh region.
In 2021, we conducted business with 76 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), which resulted in 18% or $31,294,999 of our Board-approved contracts being paid to DBE businesses. Specifically, 34.3% were awarded to women business enterprises, 30.6% to veteran business enterprises, 29.9% to minority business enterprises, and 5.2% to small business enterprises.