Environmental charities pledge to become more diverse and inclusive

06 Nov 2023 News

New to Nature trainees in support of the Force of Nature campaign


Some 67 environmental charities and charitable incorporated organisations including CPRE, the National Trust, RSPB Cymru and Woodland Trust have committed to changing their recruitment processes to become more diverse and inclusive.

Today, Groundwork, a federation of charities, launched the Force of Nature campaign, which aims to encourage environmental organisations to do more to diversify the green jobs workforce.  

Last year, a report by the RACE Report campaign showed that 7% of those working in the environmental charity sector are from Black, Asian and minority backgrounds, compared with a 14% national average across all people in employment and 9.5% of the civil society workforce.

Diversifying the environmental sector

The campaign urges signatories to develop more accessible pathways into work for young people.

They must commit to an action plan to make their organisations more inclusive, adopt recruitment practices that tackle the lack of diversity in the environmental sector and create entry-level positions with prospects for career progression.  

Groundwork said that the campaign recognises that the sector faces challenges “in ensuring its workforce represents all sections of society and is better able to ensure its projects, campaigns and wider work are relevant and accessible to a more diverse audience”. 

As part of the campaign, the federation has provided a number of resources and guidance to help signatories improve recruitment practices. 

‘We need to make sure recruitment practices are inclusive and diverse’

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK chief executive, said: “The diversity challenge for the environmental sector is well documented, and being addressed through a range of complementary initiatives.

“Making sure our recruitment and development practices are inclusive and accessible is an important piece of the jigsaw. As a movement in the midst of a climate and nature crisis, we need to be as effective as possible at engaging all sections of society in our work. 

“We’ll only do this if our workforce better reflects and understands the diversity of the communities we’re working in and with.”

Still a ‘long road to travel’ 

Richard Benwell, chief executive of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: “This campaign reaffirms the environment sector’s drive to become more diverse.

“There’s still a long road to travel to ensure recruitment, culture and day-to-day practice make the sector as inclusive, welcoming and representative as possible, but this is another step forward.

“We want to help ensure that everyone has the chance to be a force for nature whether through individual action, their career or being part of a movement. An inclusive and representative environmental movement is a stronger one.”

The campaign is supported by New to Nature, a programme offering paid work placements for at least 95 young people from diverse backgrounds led by Groundwork and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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