We are thrilled to announce that Earthwatch Europe has become a partner of the Diverse Sustainability Initiative, a collaborative scheme with the vision to transform diversity within the sustainability profession and wider environment sector.
Shockingly, a 2017 Policy Exchange survey found that the environment and sustainability sector was the second least diverse out of 202 professions in the UK. Only 3.1% of environment professionals identify as minorities compared to 19.9% average across all occupations. The Initiative was created to act on these findings and make change happen across the sector.
It is a coalition of environmental organisations, created by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). The Initiative is ambitious, committed to addressing the poor racial diversity within the environment sector. The long-term goal is to gain a diverse group of people working in and engaging with the environment and sustainability profession and wider NGO movement.
Steve Andrews, CEO of Earthwatch Europe, said,
“We are morally obliged to address issues of equality and there’s a serious question mark over our ability as a sector to achieve our objectives if we exclude significant numbers of the population. By joining the Diverse Sustainability Initiative, Earthwatch is making the commitment to being an active force in widening the diversity of our movement because it is the just thing to do, and because it’ll make us more effective as a driver of positive change.”
The Initiative will aim to improve diversity by using education, connection, and transparency to support current professionals and increase the appeal and access for future and potential employees. This will begin with breaking down barriers for minority ethnic groups before expanding into other minority or disadvantaged groups.
As a member of the coalition, we will be required to:
- Publicly state our goals related to achieving more diversity and inclusion
- Send our CEO to biannual meetings where CEOs will hold each other to account for progress towards these goals.
Our goals and priorities include building a more diverse Board of Trustees, identifying and removing any barriers to greater equality and inclusion within our recruitment processes, as well as reviewing existing programmes alongside looking to develop new programmes. These programmes will aim to increase equity and diversity, starting with young minority ethnic people.
To find out more about the Diverse Sustainability Initiative and its other partners, visit diversesustainability.net.