ADDRESSING THE LACK OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN THE ENVIRONMENT SECTOR
Leading environment and sustainability business, Bureau Veritas, is taking proactive steps to improve diversity in the sector following research which highlights challenges in diversity across the sectors.
Bureau Veritas is delivering a Diversity Action Plan following a 2017 report by the Policy Exchange, which ranked the environment sector as the second least diverse profession in the UK, with just 3.1% of staff choosing to work in the sector coming from an ethnic minority background.
To help understand and identify reasons for this lack of diversity, Bureau Veritas was one of three sponsors of a recent research programme undertaken by the Institute of Environmental Sciences (IES).
Bureau Veritas UK & Ireland
It’s clear that more needs to be done improve diversity and inclusivity in the environment sector.
Our own data - where our employees have declared their ethnic identity – tells us 5% of our UK organisation identifies as an ethnicity other than White British and White other.
Over the last couple of years we have been committed to improving our diversity, inclusion and such statistics which is why we supported the work undertaken through the IES report. One of the key objectives of the report was to identify tangible actions we can take to address the issues and we will be taking those forward into our Diversity Action Plan.
Bureau Veritas, like other employers in the sector, must use this research to focus on our recruitment processes, organisational initiatives and culture in order to improve diversity and inclusion.
As part of the initial Action Plan, Bureau Veritas gathered employees from ethnically diverse backgrounds to open up the discussion in an open and honest way about what diversity and inclusion means to them and the business.
Ken Smith adds: “Our aim is to make the environment and sustainability profession an attractive proposition to a wider diverse group of people through exploring links with universities and schools that rank high in diversity.
“We are excited about the prospect of strengthening our links with volunteer groups that speak to the diversity challenge; and many of our employees are already involved in supporting these today. One further action we wish to take is to roll out apprenticeship development training and offering coaching and mentoring of those from an ethnically diverse background to support their career development.”
“These efforts will make us a much stronger, dynamic organisation over the long run. Whilst the initiative has galvanised our focus on our environment sector, the approach and aims are relevant across all of our business units in the UK."
A full copy of the IES research findings is available here