2nd March 2021

We are a membership organisation representing the full spectrum of environmental disciplines – from fields as diverse as air quality, land condition, marine science and education – wherever you find environmental work underpinned by science.

In 2023:

Monitoring progress
• Continued to participate in the Science Council and Royal Academy of Engineering’s Professional Bodies Diversity and Inclusion Progression Framework to measure our own progress.
• Published diversity statistics of our membership in our annual report. This showed even binary gender split and that 11.3% of our members with a UK address identified as being from a non-White background, meaning our diversity gap (measured against a baseline of the percentage of the UK population in employment aged 16-65) decrease from 4.7% in 2022 to 2.7% in 2023.
• Developed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Monitoring Form for IES Volunteers to collect ED&I data from individuals who contribute to our journal, events, webinars and assessment panels.
• Took part in the RACE Report’s ‘staff perceptions survey’ in May. Collected and submitted our data to The RACE Report in September, including administration and organisation characteristics, our actions on ED&I and diversity data about our staff and trustees.

• Published an updated Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2023–2026 (pdf) in April 2023, reaffirming our commitment to promoting and fostering equity, diversity and inclusion both within the organisation itself and the wider environmental science sector. All team members are involved in working towards achieving this plan, and to hold ourselves accountable we have implemented regular review points and check-ins.

• Established the post of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Champion for the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) with two new ED&I champions having been appointed.
• Ran an event, ‘Becoming an IES Trustee: Your questions answered’ in January 2024 to feed into our ED&I objective of ‘Set up systems to support and empower a pipeline of candidates to stand for Council, committees and panels to promote inclusivity of minoritised groups’.

Internal changes
• Recruitment: Successfully piloted anonymisation of applications, which will be taken forward into future recruitment rounds, where feasible. Updated the wording of job adverts and our diversity monitoring form to follow best practice for inclusivity, including for neurodiverse individuals. Included a welcoming statement highlighting our commitment to fostering an inclusive culture in our job adverts and most recent committee openings.
• Events: Added a question into our online event registration asking if attendees need any adjustments for accessibility. Began to include slots in our paid conferences for early careers professionals to present.
• Began work to embed ED&I across IES activities and promote ED&I in the sector. As such, this has been discussed across Community events including a land condition community webinar on ED&I on site, and a Future ES23 event on improving ethnic diversity in the environmental sector.
• Staff participated in Race Equality Week 2023 through undertaking their 5 Day Challenge.
• Joined the Business Disability Forum as a member to make use of their guidance and services.

External influencing
• Our CEO continued to act as an advisor to The RACE Report.
• Led a roundtable on ED&I at the Environment Analyst’s Business Summit.
• Our Education Community, CEDHE, began developing best practice guidance for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in environmental education, with a working group established. The approach is to focus on ED&I in relation to preparing students for professional practice, and to signpost wider sector resources available around ED&I in programme design and delivery.
• Sat on the Advisory Panel for the NERC-funded Equator Project, that developed three evidence-based interventions targeting barriers to ethnic minority participation and retention in Geography, Earth and Environmental Science (GEES) postgraduate research. A paper was subsequently published in Nature Geoscience: Strategies for making geoscience PhD recruitment more equitable.

In 2024:

1. Continue to monitor our progress through participation in the Science Council and Royal Academy of Engineering’s Professional Bodies Diversity and Inclusion Progression Framework to measure our own progress and by publishing diversity statistics in our annual report.
2. Make progress on key deliverables in our ED&I Plan 2023 – 26 in the five key areas of governance, committees and employment, membership and registers, events and training, communications and publications, and education and accreditation.
3. Commit to continuous monitoring and review of our recruitment processes and making further changes for improved inclusivity going forward. For example, we are seeking to pilot the use of positive action in future recruitment rounds.
4. Establish an ED&I Action Community to steer the IES activities related to ED&I.
5. Update our guidance and processes around our membership applications to make them more inclusive and ensure they do not exclude those from minoritised groups joining. Alongside this, we will also seek to actively encourage underrepresented groups to apply for Fellowship.
6. Extend current mentoring schemes to build a diverse pool of mentors and offer members from underrepresented groups the option of tailored support.
7. Identify barriers for underrepresented groups attending events and training and develop solutions to increase engagement.
8. Promote and elevate the work of members from underrepresented groups within our messaging and communications.
9. Develop a specific workstream within our Student Ambassadors initiative to address equality, diversity and inclusion.
10. Launch initiatives to deliver on key recommendations identified in our publication A challenging environment: Experiences of ethnic minority environmental professionals.