He said he surprised himself by ending up in the marine field. If new hires walk into a space where they don't feel welcome, the situation is set up for failure, she said. ", Get articles like this delivered to your inbox. In September, the sixth annual HBCU Climate Conference, which brings together historically black college and universities staff, faculty and students, will take place in New Orleans and expects 400 attendees. Society president Jamie Williams realized the organization needed to make systemic changes to the board, staffing and partnership efforts to better achieve its mission of protecting public lands. Focus on your employees. Changing an organization's culture takes time and deliberate action. As we know very well, presenting a sound business case is integral to gaining buy-in from key internal players. Over 220 participants — mostly students of color — attended with resumes in hand to mingle with representatives of non-profits. She is involved in two fellowships for college students of color to gain experience in university research labs and non-profit organizations — yet her program staff receives only a modest number of job advertisements from environmental organizations. If you are not connected, you won’t hear about or get those jobs. We have an opportunity to boldly influence the decision-making process in a way that spearheads unprecedented organizational health. © 2019 GreenBiz Group Inc. GREENBIZ® and GREENBIZ.COM® are registered trademarks of, Why diversity in sustainability matters, and what you can do. The tide is changing for offshore aquaculture, Climate change ups the urgency on saving the world's seeds, Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Marine Conservation Diversity Fellowship. Here are three actionable steps your organization can take to realize greater diversity. One-third of the 15 people hired in the past year have been people of color. According to Net Impact, "More than 50 percent of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90 percent want to use their skills for good." She found that 3.9 percent of organizations reveal their data on racial diversity; on average, 80 percent of their board members and 85 percent of their staff were white. Daily, I traverse a world of subtle, nuanced microaggressions that can challenge one’s confidence, success and sense of self-value — and are capable of inducing anxiety in any person of color. So it made a big move — opening an office in Los Angeles and expanding their presence in San Francisco, in part, to help attract high-caliber candidates from diverse backgrounds. The Lack of Diversity in the Environmental Movement – Part 3 Environmentalism is a movement that impacts all classes, colors, and demographics of society, yet is rarely represented by the individuals working on the issues themselves. As corporate sustainability professionals, we must lead the cultivation of a more inclusive, equitable world for all. "If you are not connected, you won’t hear about or get those jobs.". As a black man in the field of corporate sustainability, I refer to myself as a "super-minority." In addition, the society is working to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the staff, in part by establishing paid internships. Here are some convincing statistics that demonstrate the value of investing in greater diversity and inclusion. Over 30 percent of past attendees have gone on to pursue careers in environmental fields, said conference organizer Beverly Wright. The Ocean Foundation's Love agrees that retaining diverse staff will be the key to success. It is a critical issue. Calvert and other inventors believe that lack of diversity affects a company’s ability to attract talent. Also in 2014, the Environmental Defense Fund created a 64-page diversity strategy (PDF). And it created a new category of entry-level managers to offer employees the experience necessary to become leaders of tomorrow. To that end, González said one of the most important things an organization can do is center its actions around the answer to one question: Why does diversity matter to us? "Environmental jobs are advertised and accepted through established networks," said Taylor. Only two women and one foreigner have seats on the company's 11-member board. He is currently Managing Director-Energy and Sustainability at … "I see a lot of organizations put a toe in the water and try to recruit for diversity but do nothing to create an inclusive environment," she said. In January, study author Dorceta Taylor, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability, released another report (PDF download) of 2,057 U.S. environmental nonprofit organizations, analyzing voluntary diversity data between 2014 and 2016. She said organizations that successfully attract and retain diverse staff and develop cross-cultural relationships are clear about their goals, transparent, accept feedback and are authentic. Concerned that colleagues might not appreciate his background, culture or upbringing, he was pleasantly surprised that co-workers at two of the conservation non-profits behind the fellowship, Ocean Conservancy and Rare, welcomed him with open arms. Diversity comes in many forms: gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, culture, socioeconomic background, etc. Sometimes we need to take a step back and examine the presence of diversity in our own life. Can mission-driven food companies scale up without selling out? Other environmental funding organizations and non-profits, however, are less forthcoming. Is it possible for firms to tout environmental sustainability if they lack true diversity in their workforce? Candid yet open-minded dialogues in which all participants seek to learn of and empathize with one another's experiences can shine a light on our commonalities. Inauthentic gestures — for example, promoting diverse faces on an organization's website without concomitant shifts in outreach or recruitment — are a common misstep. Such experiences help youth from diverse backgrounds become familiar with corporate culture, gain valuable network connections, showcase their abilities and ideas and test-drive their interests. Five years ago, the group’s seven-member board had no people of color. ", Ali offered one answer: "If we truly want to win on climate and the environment, that means all voices must help drive the process. Throughout the organization — from adjusting its mission to include the needs of underserved communities to addressing unconscious bias in hiring practices — the society is working to embed equity and inclusivity into everything it does, he said. These topics can be paralyzing, but we must press into these difficult spaces with vulnerability. I have experienced bitter encounters of prejudice and racism firsthand. The ongoing lack of ethnic diversity on environmental organization boards and staff suggests that, overall, talk of increasing diversity has not turned into widespread action. "It never would have crossed my mind," he said. https://www.greenbiz.com/article/why-diversity-key-unlocking-sustainability Source: Taylor, D.E. "We know we still have a lot of work to do," said Williams, "but [these efforts] will make us a much stronger, dynamic organization over the long run.". While the energy industry has made progress toward diversification, more work is needed. How sustainability professionals can uplift the black community, Every sustainability team needs a customer-facing specialist, 3 secrets for scoring an entry-level sustainability job, Dynamic sustainability teams do these three things. But they decided 10 years ago they needed to do more to diversify their board and staff. BoardSource just released its report on board diversity, and the statistics are frustrating, disappointing, and somewhat anger-inducing….The lack of diversity on boards is no longer just annoying. It provides an advanced forum for studies related to sustainability and sustainable development, and is published semimonthly online by MDPI. Despite the increasing number of fellowship, internship and training opportunities to provide people of color with pathways to gain skills and experience in environmental fields, organizations continue to lament a lack of diverse applicants. How does biodiversity impact sustainable development? Chart by Sean Quinn. The shift in framing diversity beyond gender is evident in a number of developments last year. "If you don't do it authentically," said González, "just don't do it.". A number of organizations are diversifying their ranks in the wake of the reports. The unequal performance of companies in the same industry and country implies that diversity is a competitive differentiator shifting market share toward more diverse companies. The society is working to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the staff, in part by establishing paid internships. Still, "there have to be employers ready to hire them," she said. The entertainer had been in talks to partner with Reebok until meeting with her potential team there. Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050; CODEN: SUSTDE) is an international, cross-disciplinary, scholarly, peer-reviewed and open access journal of environmental, cultural, economic, and social sustainability of human beings. The lack of Diversity and Inclusion … "Numbers don’t lie," he said. At the average sustainability conference, I am definitely not that hard to spot. Mary Scoonover, executive vice president of the California-based conservation non-profit Resources Legacy Fund, said her organization, since inception, has focused on broadening, ethnically and economically, the groups and leaders who advocate for conservation. Queta González helps organizations develop strategies to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in her role as director of Center for Diversity & the Environment in Portland, Oregon. This lack of diversity in our diet causes a lack of diversity in nature, and also makes us less resilient to pests or diseases in our food supply. The Pew Charitable Trusts and Conservation International, for example, do not share their diversity data and did not respond to repeated interview requests for this story. Canada’s new food guide: A fail on culture and sustainability January 17, 2019 5.24pm EST • Updated January 22, 2019 10.09pm EST Sarah Duignan , McMaster University In order to make real progress on diversifying corporate sustainability, we must be willing to step outside of our comfort zones and have honest conversations. Insufficient diversity transparency among environmental funders. The shareholder resolution states the lack of diversity in tech is a “crisis” that “threatens worker safety, talent retention, product development, and customer service.” At the average sustainability conference, I am definitely not that hard to spot. I am a fourth-generation college graduate, earning my degree in Environmental Science from North Carolina State University. The organization found it challenging to recruit ethnically diverse, younger staff to suburban Sacramento, where the organization was originally based. At the average sustainability conference, I am definitely not that hard to spot. Foreword by Larry Levy. "We learned we need to be intentional about change, not just well-intended," said Williams. I encourage you to develop "unlikely" relationships with a variety of individuals within your network or business and press into difficult conversations. “She said, ‘Nobody in this room reflects my background, my skin colour, and where I’m from and what I want to do.’ And so she kinda took a step back and left,” says DePau… Still, he was surprised by the lack of diversity in the marine non-governmental organization community when he accepted a Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Marine Conservation Diversity Fellowship, part of a program designed to attract people of color to work on ocean issues. To continue to build a broader, more diverse coalition, the Resources Legacy Fund is looking for synergies between its own mission and a community's priorities — for example, connecting its concern about air quality with diverse farmworkers' concern about pesticide drift. 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