People who experience racism* account for only 7% of those working in the environmental charity sector, according to data released today in The RACE Report which highlights continuing inequality across the charity sector. This is well below the national average of 14% across all professions.
The data contained in the report was voluntarily submitted by 91 organisations, including The Orchard Project, as part of a collective effort to improve transparency within the sector.
“This report is designed to act as a catalyst for meaningful action and help tackle the barriers preventing more people who experience racism from working and thriving in the sector,” says Kath Rosen, CEO, The Orchard Project.
“We know there’s still a lot of work to do. We will continue to learn how to meaningfully address racial injustice through our work, and we may not always get it right.
“But we are led by a vision that as a biodiverse orchard system teaming with wildlife is much more resilient, so are diverse organisations. We need everyone’s voices, strengths and solutions to help create the equitable, resilient sustainable societies we so desperately need.”
Among the actions currently being taken by The Orchard Project include:
- Delivering funded training programmes to help people get jobs in the environment sector. E.g. our CICO (Certificate in Community Orcharding) course offers bursaries to people from the global majority or those who are economically disadvantaged. We have had a huge success rate with these courses, with a third of participants progressing into work or further training.
- Feasibility work with new partners, who are black or global majority-led, to develop orchard programmes that better reflect need in these communities.
- Introducing blind recruitment to overcome our unconscious biases. We track diversity data through each recruitment round to identify where we can improve our processes.
- Changing the language and where we advertise for staff and trustees to make our recruitment process more accessible
You can read more about our stance on diversity in the environmental sector on our recent blog.
About The RACE Report
The RACE (Racial Action for the Climate Emergency) report coincides with US-based sister campaign Green 2.0’s release of their latest annual transparency report, and represents an international effort to improve diversity within a predominantly white sector.
Organisations have responded to the sector’s diversity shortcomings by taking positive action, including:
- 83% of organisations either have included or are in the process of including statements promoting race equity and inclusion within all new recruitment materials
- 76% of organisations have recently reviewed or are in the process of reviewing the imagery and language used in marketing and websites materials to promote inclusivity
- 67% of organisations have introduced or are introducing compulsory staff training on race equality, diversity and inclusion
- Over half of organisations have spokespeople or patrons which include people who have experienced racism.
The RACE Report launched in April 2022 with the goal of increasing transparency among charities working on these issues and creating an impetus to go further and faster on diversity and inclusion.
Between April and September 2022, charities, trusts and foundations that predominantly work on environmental, climate, nature or sustainability issues could first register their support for the initiative, and then submit data on the diversity characteristics of their staff and trustees, contributing to building a picture of diversity.
*‘People who experience racism’ is highlighted as an inclusive descriptive term. Read the statement for the UK from #BAMEOver.