Dec 22, 2021 - News

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's cabinet remains majority white

Illustration of three fists raising briefcases. 

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The city's overall workforce is made up of a majority of people of color, while Mayor Jim Kenney's cabinet of top advisers is mostly white.

Driving the news: The findings are detailed in the Kenney administration's Workforce Diversity Profile and Annual Report, which was released on Tuesday.

How it works: The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion gives an in-depth look at the city's full-time workforce and exempt workforce (hired outside of the civil service examination) under Kenney's control.

  • The 2021 data runs through June.

State of play: Black or African American workers account for 47.9% of the city's total 23,722 employees under the executive branch — the largest portion. The remainder of the workforce is:

  • 39.2% white.
  • 6.9% Hispanic or Latino.
  • 3.8% Asian.
  • .9% two or more races.
  • .7% listed as unassigned.
  • .2% Indigenous American.
  • 05% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

The big picture: The city's population is 40% Black or African American, 34% white, 15% Hispanic or Latino and 8% Asian, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey.

Zoom in: Kenney's cabinet, consisting of his top 15 leaders who help shape policy and operations, is majority white (60%). Black or African American leaders make up 26.6% of his cabinet, and Hispanic or Latino leaders 13.3%.

  • White workers also make up the majority (54%) of employees earning a salary of more than $90,000 a year, known as the executive exempt workforce, followed by Black or African American workers (31%) and Hispanic or Latino workers (6%).
  • And white employees account 55.5% of the administration's 45 senior leadership positions, while Black or African American workers make up 37.7%

More findings:

  • The median age for city employees is 46 years old.
  • Asian workers have increased their portion of the exempt workforce, going from 4.5% in 2016 to 7.1% this year.
  • Women are underrepresented in the overall workforce (35.2%) but account for 53.8% of the exempt workforce and 54% of the executive exempt workforce.

Between the lines: The report acknowledges that overall diversity of the city's workforce has made gains, "but the gains are not even."

  • "More work needs to be done to ensure workforce equity, in which the city reflects the diversity of Philadelphia's communities across all functions and leadership levels," it says.

Go deeper: Read the full report.


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