February 2022

A challenging environment: Experiences of ethnic minority environmental professionals

The environment sector was ranked as the second least ethnically diverse in the UK in 2017, with just 3.1% of environmental professionals identifying as any ethnicity other than White British, versus 19.9% in all other occupations. We believe there is a clear need for continued research, education and reform to identify and address the key barriers which result in low ethnic diversity across the sector.

This report publishes the findings of a recent IES research project – joint-funded by Bureau Veritas, Delta-Simons and the Environment Agency – to examine some of the challenges and opportunities related to ethnic diversity in the environment sector. Drawing on the perspectives of professionals from ethnic minorities, those working in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) job roles and heads of organisations, the research aims to understand the barriers to a representative environmental workforce and provides recommendations for individuals, employers and, more broadly, the sector to promote and enhance inclusion of ethnic minorities. 

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