As the representative body for environmental science, it is essential that we proactively seek to enhance diversity and inclusion across the sector, act as agents for change, and lead by example for the betterment of our society and environment. We recognise the clear need for research, education and reform to identify and address the key barriers which result in low ethnic diversity across the sector. We are leading on a series of our own Diversity Initiatives to address the ethnic diversity gap, to amplify the voices of those who aren't being heard, and to embed sustainable solutions for a more inclusive, accessible profession. We believe in the strength of collaboration and are proud to become a partner of the Diverse Sustainability Initiative (DSI), spearheaded by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
DSI is a new collaborative programme of work with the vision to transform diversity within the sustainability profession and wider environment sector. It is coordinated and managed by several partners and seeks to involve anyone who works as an environment or sustainability professional, and all professionals regardless of discipline who work within the environment sector. By signing up to DSI, the IES and other partner organisations are making a public commitment to improve diversity within our industries, be accountable and make a positive difference to bring about change. Although this is a long-term goal, the purpose is to improve diversity through education, connection and transparency to support current professionals and increase appeal and access for future and potential specialists. This journey starts with racial diversity, before expanding into LGBTQ+, gender and physical ability. Improving diversity will take a generation to achieve in its entirety as it requires a shift in mindset to engage a whole new generation of professionals.
The IES is committed to supporting DSI and the work that stems from our own Diversity Initiatives will feed into the wider collaborative programme, and vice versa.