CPRE joins RACE Report initiative to tackle environment sector inequality
The results of the RACE Report, a transparency survey which examines ethnic diversity in the environment sector, were published today. It shows that while more charities have taken part, environmental charities continue to lack diversity, and rapid action is needed to bring them in line with other sectors.
The survey, which took place in 2023, collected data from 12,900 employees and 142 organisations across the environment sector. Overall, just 6% of employees surveyed identified as people of colour or other ethnically minoritised groups. This sits well below the UK average of 15%.
At CPRE, we firmly believe in a countryside for all. But this report reminds us that the environment sector is distinctly lacking in many minoritised voices, and that includes our organisation. Despite our work to promote a countryside that feels welcoming to everyone, we acknowledge that we need to do much more, as highlighted in our RACE Report Transparency Card. This isn’t just to address issues of access and inclusion in the countryside, but to ensure that our organisation reflects the change we want to see in the wider sector.
Inequality across the sector
This year’s RACE Report, published during Race Equality Week, also includes an additional Staff Perceptions Survey, to which over 1,500 people responded. This reveals a more detailed but worrying pattern of barriers that exist across the sector. While most respondents agreed that their organisation opposes racism in its policies, this perception was much higher for white identities (68%) than people of colour (56%). Further, only 51% of the respondents who identified as people of colour felt that they had as many opportunities to succeed as their colleagues (compared to 68% for white identities).
While the majority of respondents said they felt at home in their organisation, again this figure was higher for white identities (84% compared to 74%), and more than twice as many people of colour (14%) had experienced racial bullying in the workplace than their colleagues who identified as white.
At CPRE, we’ve got a robust equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) action plan. Having participated in the report, we’re committed to extending this to include the Transparency Card.
Other actions include our Ally Resource Group who will work directly with the senior leadership team to bring about a more inclusive workplace and a more diverse workforce – and hold us all to account. Following a series of organisation-wide anti-oppression workshops between 2022-3, an EDI toolkit has been created to facilitate individual development and learning, and its principles will be embedded in organisation-wide ways of working.
We are also currently delivering improvements to our recruitment methods by ensuring that our EDI commitment is visible in recruitment materials and trialling the use of job boards, giving improved access to a greater diversity of candidates for all vacancies
Commenting on the results of the Race Report and CPRE’s plan of action, Roger Mortlock, chief executive at CPRE, said:
‘CPRE was founded to create a countryside for everyone, and we hold just as true to that mission now.
‘Initiatives like the RACE Report are crucial because they give us clear-cut data that shows what we need to do better in improving equality, diversity and inclusion, including the racial and ethnic diversity in our workplace.
‘We’re committed to taking rapid action to address the low representation at CPRE, and indeed in the wider sector, and I’m pleased we’re taking strong and meaningful steps towards a more inclusive environmental sector.’