In 2019, a Policy Exchange survey identified the environment and sustainability sector as the second least diverse out of 202 professions in the UK. Indeed, 3.1% of environment professionals identify as minorities compared to 19.9% in all occupations*. Further compounding this issue is the ‘Green Skills Gap’: the Office for National Statistics 2022 annual survey of the green economy revealed that there were still fewer people working in green sectors than there were in 2014.
The environmental sector’s lack of diversity is to the detriment of both the people we aim to serve and the environment we want to protect. We will need to call on the diversity of humanity to address the unprecedented challenges of climate change and the biodiversity crisis.
It is the aim of Green Jobs For Nature that we work with our partners to develop a diverse and inclusive sector that is equitable not only for those working within the sector but also those affected by the work we do. Through promoting Green Jobs for Nature we aim to become a stronger sector: stronger for the planet and stronger for society.
* Race, inclusivity and environmental sustainability report conducted by NUS, IEMA and The Equality Trust.
Peer Support Networks
There are networks, communities and mentoring opportunities for people of colour or people from minority ethnic backgrounds working in, studying in or looking to join the environmental sector. Examples include:
- British Ecological Society’s REED Ecological Network
- IEMA’s Diverse Sustainability Initiative‘s People of Colour Network
- Wildlife and Countryside Link Raven Network
- National History Museum Explorer’s Programme: events and networking opportunities throughout the year ‘to encourage and support people from Black, Asian, Arab and other racially marginalised backgrounds into careers in Earth, environmental and ecological sciences’; based in London with travel bursaries available for some events
- Black Geographers: events and mentoring for Black, Asian and minority ethnic students in environmental research
- Climate Reframe: ‘a connected community of climate allies from Campaigners to Entrepreneurs, Scientists to Youth Activists, all from racialized communities based in the UK. For training, mentorship, well-being and camaraderie’