Asians underrepresented on city payroll

Newly-released data on the racial composition of the City of Evanston workforce shows that Asians are dramatically underrepresented on the city payroll while blacks are overrepresented, compared to each group's share of the city's population.

The information provided by the city's human resources division at the request of Evanston Now also shows that whites and Hispanics are represented on the city workforce in numbers roughly equal to their proportion of city residents.

The numbers include full-time employees and part-time employees who work year round. Seasonal employees, mostly summer workers, were excluded from the count.

A similar report from eight years ago indicates there's been little change in the racial and ethnic composition of the city's workforce over this decade.

The new data indicates that among the city's full-time workers, whites are most likely to hold supervisory positions followed by blacks -- with whites proportionately more likely to be supervisors than blacks.

The share of Hispanics in supervisory positions is only one third the share of Hispanics in non-supervisory roles, while the share of Asians in supervisory roles is close to the same as their non-supervisory job share.

There's a wide variation in the proportion of minorities across different city departments.

Despite recent efforts to increase its diversity, the Fire Department remains the whitest unit in the city workforce. The city's first black firefighter, Sanders Hicks, died two years ago. And though he ultimately rose to be fire chief, fire officials have acknowledged that he experienced discrimination in the department early in his career.

The City Manager's and Clerk's offices, the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and the Health Department are the city units with the largest shares of minority employees.

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