We live in an incredibly divided world. I have a vision of more sustainability professionals championing ethnic diversity within their respective organizations. Eddie Love was the lone African American in a cohort of 90 wildlife management students at Auburn University and one of three people of color at his U.S. Forest Service internship in the western Great Plains region of the U.S. Diversity breeds innovation and innovation breeds business growth. 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. These topics can be paralyzing, but we must press into these difficult spaces with vulnerability. A healthy organization must reflect the beautiful ethnic mosaic that is our world. 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. Tags: ethnic diversity | race | inclusivity. 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. In the United States, there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and better financial performance: For every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes rise 0.8 percent. Hofstra study on the lack of teacher diversity on Long Island; NCSS in the News. Following the fellowship, Love accepted a job to work on initiatives aiming at protecting marine mammals as well as efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion at the Ocean Foundation. Now, the 11-member board has three people of color. A 2014 study (PDF)of 191 U.S. conservation and preservation organizations, 74 government environmental agencies and 28 environmental grant-making foundations found that ethnic minorities do not exceed 16 percent of board members or staff of environmental organizations. At times, Diversity is used in a superficial way within organizations and sustainability programs without consideration of the deeper, long-term and more strategic implications of diversity. ", Ali offered one answer: "If we truly want to win on climate and the environment, that means all voices must help drive the process. "We learned we need to be intentional about change, not just well-intended," said Williams. Toward the goal of promoting diversity in the sector, the Women in Energy program of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) a… Progressive organizations take an employee-centric approach to realizing … "It never would have crossed my mind," he said. "If you are not connected, you won’t hear about or get those jobs.". Creating programs in which students can gain valuable education and experience while providing business value is essential. The lack of Diversity and Inclusion … Only two women and one foreigner have seats on the company's 11-member board. 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. I have experienced bitter encounters of prejudice and racism firsthand. "Different kinds of people will come up with different kinds of ideas, and the more variety, the better," wrote Todd Pittinsky, a Stony Brook University professor, in the Harvard Business Review. It's that simple. Introduction to Sustainability. He is currently Managing Director-Energy and Sustainability at … In addition, the society is working to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the staff, in part by establishing paid internships. And that's the problem: There are still relatively few connections between communities of color and the environmental sector. I encourage you to develop "unlikely" relationships with a variety of individuals within your network or business and press into difficult conversations. [Editor's note: After publication, Conservation International contacted Ensia to explain that interview requests were misrouted. 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. A 2014 study showed that racial diversity in U.S. conservation and preservation organizations tends to be lowest on boards and highest among relatively new employees and interns. Isaac William Martin and Christopher Niedt. Chart by Sean Quinn. Environmental jobs are advertised and accepted through established networks. If new hires walk into a space where they don't feel welcome, the situation is set up for failure, she said. Editor's note: This is the first in new series by GreenBiz 30 Under 30 alumni, sharing unique, global perspectives on sustainability professionals' roles in ensuring a thriving future for the environment, business and society. If the pipeline problem is a myth, there is a diverse talent pool for every field. The Storm, the Strife, and Everyday Life: Sea Changes in the Suburbs. The survey found that, on average, people of color made up 27 percent of full-time staff and 14 percent of senior staff, … 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. Insufficient diversity transparency among environmental funders. Inauthentic gestures — for example, promoting diverse faces on an organization's website without concomitant shifts in outreach or recruitment — are a common misstep. "Environmental jobs are advertised and accepted through established networks," said Taylor. We not only must steward the environment but also explore ways to meet the needs of the vulnerable and create healthy platforms for people of all backgrounds to embrace commonalities, celebrate differences and heal tensions. The lack of diversity in U.S. environmental non-profit organizations has been well chronicled in recent years. 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