Study: Environmentalists discriminate against women and minorities

Campus Reform Reporter

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  • More than 70 percent of the presidents and board chairs of environmental groups were male. At the richest organizations—those with annual budgets over $1 million—90 percent were male.
  • Zero of the richest environmental groups had a minority president.
  • A report from a University of Michigan professor reveals that environmental groups are far less inclusive in their efforts of promoting and welcoming women and minorities than business and sports sectors.

    Professor Dorceta Taylor surveyed nearly 300 independent groups and government agencies which make up the majority of the environmental movement.

    "This is one area where it looks like the corporations who usually get lectured to by the environmental community—the best of them anyway—may have a thing or two to teach mainstream environmental leaders about diversity."   

    The Guardian outlined the report’s findings:

    —More than 70 percent of the presidents and board chairs of environmental groups were male. At the richest organizations—those with annual budgets over $1 million—90 percent were male.

    —None of the richest environmental groups had a minority president. Overall, ethnic minorities occupy fewer than 12 percent of leadership positions.

    —Outside government, few of the organizations have diversity managers or actively collaborate with minority or low-income groups.

    —Just 12 percent of jobs at non-governmental environmental groups were held by ethnic minorities, a recruiting rate below that for minorities in science and engineering jobs.

    —White women were far more likely to be promoted than minority men and women, and just four percent of board members of environmental groups were ethnic minorities, Taylor found. Membership of mass organizations also skews white and male.

    Women and minorities have recognized the green movement’s diversity deficiencies.

    “This is one area where it looks like the corporations who usually get lectured to by the environmental community—the best of them anyway—may have a thing or two to teach mainstream environmental leaders about diversity,” said Danielle Deanne, a principal at the Raben consulting group, which commissioned the study.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @MaggieLitCRO