Are women in sustainability heard and influential?

  08 March 2022

The theme for the 2022 VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards is “Just Transition”. We want to try and make sure VIBES winners represent Scotland’s diversity and on the occasion of International Women Day 2022, we are looking at women in sustainability being heard versus being influential.

Last week, the Women in Sustainability Network and Newcastle University shared their initial findings from the research, “Amplifying Our Voices” carried out during summer of 2021. One of their very interesting key findings was that women in green careers feel heard but not influential at work.

According to the United Nations, gender and climate change have an important connection. They underline that woman offer incredible qualities for climate leadership and can play a critical role in the response to climate change. They add that “if policies or projects are implemented without women’s meaningful participation it can increase existing inequalities and decrease effectiveness.”

Here are some of our top tips to help increase gender equality in your business:

  • Make a commitment

Commit to the Scottish Business Pledge and/or become a STEM learning Ambassador. Have a look at your internal policies to ensure there are enough safeguards for flexible working patterns and maternity/paternity leave, so you are not treating genders differently. Also, take action to address the gap in pay between genders.

  • Reverse mentoring

Use reverse mentoring to identify what behaviour or what situation made your employees feel like they were not listened to. Use this feedback to change behaviours inside of your company, for example through training on unconscious bias.

  • Talk the talk … walk the walk

As highlighted in Forbes article, if businesses want a true gender equality, they need to make gender diversity and inclusion a company priority. Businesses should showcase how their engagement towards gender equality permeant the organisation culture. Businesses need to offer more Women Leadership roles to insure equal representation at all levels in the company.

Has your organisation already taken steps towards a just transition towards net zero? Apply for VIBES 2022 and share your story. Request your application pack now: contact us via email vibes@sepa.org.uk

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