Invitation to Tender- mapping work on diversity in the environment sector

We are commissioning a review of existing and planned initiatives which aim to address a lack of diversity in the environment sector in the UK.

Funders in this space are keen to ensure that they avoid duplication by supporting new initiatives when existing programmes are unable to secure funds, and to identify gaps in delivery that they could help to address. The key audience for the report will be Trustees and staff at Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, as well as other individuals and organisations working to address diversity, equity and inclusion issues in the environment sector and looking for sources of advice, models that they could replicate, or potential partners.

If you are interested in tendering for this mapping review:

About the issue

The environment sector is one of the least ethnically diverse in the UK. Just 4.81% of environmental professionals identify as Black, Asian or from other minority ethnic groups, compared to 12.64% across all UK professions. People of colour working in the sector report first-hand experience of racism in the form of stereotyping, discrimination, exclusion from networking and a lack of opportunity for progression.

Whilst the lack of ethnic diversity is a particular concern, there are also significant barriers to entering and progressing within the sector for people from low socioeconomic backgrounds and for disabled people.

The environment sector recognises that it has not done enough to ensure that it represents the people it ultimately seeks to serve. The Black Lives Matter movement prompted organisations to examine their own systems and practices as well as identifying areas where their services and expertise could support others in driving the transition to a more inclusive sector. The momentum this has created gives confidence that meaningful and lasting change can be achieved but it has also resulted in a complex ecosystem of sometimes overlapping initiatives. There is a risk that organisations or individuals looking for support do not know where they can find it and it can make it more difficult for funders and others to focus resources on addressing gaps.

Some key current initiatives are listed below, and this mapping review will identify more. Recent projects have also focused on offering entry level placements to people from underrepresented backgrounds, at how opportunities are advertised and at how training opportunities can be made more accessible.

A sample of current initiatives include:

Learn more


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