The Madison region has a long way to go to fix longstanding economic disparities, but it must start by bringing the community together, experts agree.

That’s why Manuel Pastor, a University of Southern California professor, called yesterday’s MadREP and Urban League of Greater Madison summit a “remarkable thing.” Pastor noted while the Madison economy is growing, the city is “doing pretty badly” in leaving some people behind.

And economic development leaders, he said, need to ensure their efforts target those disparities.

“This is not something that’s an add-on,” Pastor said. “It’s fundamental and key to economic growth.”

The summit came as MadREP released a survey showing diversity and inclusion numbers among employers in the region who responded. The survey found men made up 68.6 percent of company leadership positions and 64.9 percent of board of director spots. Read the full WisBusiness story here.