Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Recruitment, Hiring and Retention
The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide guidance to hiring managers seeking to diversify their sustainability
staff by applying an equity lens. Recent and historical studies have shown that sustainability and environmental
fields lag in their ability to recruit, hire, and retain employees of color.1 This can be due to a variety of systemic
factors including access to social and professional networks and exclusion from the practices of environmental
campaigns and organizations, as well as implicit and explicit racial bias in hiring processes.
As our nation, counties, and cities become more diverse and as the challenges that sustainability departments
face in addressing climate change grow, it is imperative now more than ever that offices build cadres of
professionals that can understand how to work with, support, and galvanize action amongst all diverse
communities. The work of sustainability becomes relevant to more people when the perspectives of people of
color and low-income communities are represented within the organization and individuals are situated to make
decisions that are equitable.
The practices and tools provided in this fact sheet will support USDN members in their evolving practices to
achieve increased equity, diversity, and inclusion in their offices by addressing historical discrepancies in
recruitment, hiring and retention efforts.
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