At CIEEM, we are aware that the many and varied roles of ecologists and environmental managers are vital in meeting the twin challenges of climate change and the biodiversity crisis. To do this well, we need to work together to create a diverse, inclusive and healthy profession.
At its best, ecology and environmental management can be a wonderfully rewarding vocation and anyone, regardless of background, gender, faith, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability, has the potential to contribute – if only we let them in.
We want to represent an inclusive profession, one that is welcoming and representative of our society. We need to be an inclusive profession in order to engage effectively with all stakeholders, understand different perspectives and be reflective of the society we serve. That means our profession needs to change and we want to contribute to that change. We recognise that, in some aspects of diversifying the profession, change will take time but we do need to start taking action now.
But we also recognise that ecology and environmental management professions, as rewarding as they are, are not without challenge. We know that people working in these professions are typically passionate about their work, highly committed and motivated. We also know that for many it is common to feel unhappiness with a reliance on working long and often unsocial hours, especially during the spring/summer months and the impact this can have on physical and mental well-being and family life. As a profession, we are not alone in this, but that does not make it right. We do not agree that such health issues should be ‘accepted’ as ‘just the way it is’ in ecology and environmental management. Whilst CIEEM can draw attention to these issues and provide a means of facilitating discussion, potential solutions need to be developed collaboratively with our members and employers as the key stakeholders in the profession. CIEEM is committed to maintaining a focus on equality, diversity, health and well-being moving forwards. We want things to change and we hope that you do too.
The content and resources in this section of the website provide some background to creating a diverse, inclusive and healthy profession and outline how we plan to turn this commitment into action. As you explore the content, please consider what small actions you might take to promote and support change, and please do respond when prompted to provide examples of ways of working that embrace the positive intentions of these aims.