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Changing the world from within

Understanding what is helping and hindering the environment sector from becoming more ethnically diverse.

The environment sector is focused on growing and recovering nature and rolling back the climate crisis. The scale of the crisis facing nature is immense and there is growing recognition that it is essential for all communities to engage in solving environmental challenges.

It has been acknowledged for quite some time, however, that there are significant barriers preventing many people from minority ethnic backgrounds engaging with mainstream environmental and climate change organisations, in joining as paid employees, in volunteering or in partnering with sector bodies in community level initiatives.

While some organisations have put considerable effort into attracting greater ethnic diversity, many of those efforts have focused on looking outwards to minority ethnic people and communities and saying “come and join us”. This research looks inwards, and asks “what is it about environment organisations and the sector that is helping and hindering minority ethnic people from joining us?” In other words, how can the sector change from within?

In order to find the data that would best enable the sector to change from within, there needed to be a focus on understanding what has been done to date by organisations to become more ethnically diverse and also the impact of culture and leadership. This research specifically looks at the actions organisations have taken, the culture within organisations, leaders’ understanding of and approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, and the lived experiences of people from minority ethnic backgrounds currently working in the sector.

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