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Green Groups Make Pay Equity Pledge to Combat Racial Wage Gap

July 13, 2022, 4:37 PM

Many of the biggest environmental groups such as the National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy, and the Sierra Club are pledging to tackle the racial wage gap, particularly disparities affecting women of color, under a Pay Equity Pledge campaign announced Wednesday.

Advocacy groups including Earthjustice and the Union of Concerned Scientists also joined the campaign, launched over the last year by the Green 2.0 watchdog group, which tracks diversity in hiring by environmental groups through an annual scorecard.

The environmental groups participating in the pay equity campaign have agreed to review staff wages across key demographics including race, ethnicity, and gender and to take corrective action to address any pay disparities discovered in that review within one year.

Groups joining the pay equity campaign include the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Conservation Nation, Defenders of Wildlife, EarthEcho International, Environmental Defense Fund, GreenLatinos, League of Conservation Voters, Ocean Conservation, Our Climate, Rainforest Action Network, the Wilderness Society, and the Trust for Public Land.

“Environmental organizations cannot profess to prioritize issues of diversity and equity if they refuse to look at pay discrepancies among staff,” said Green 2.0 Executive Director Andres Jimenez.

The group’s pay equity campaign is its latest effort focusing on the intersection between environmental advocacy groups and people of color, who are disproportionately affected by pollution and other environmental challenges and are least represented in higher-paid positions within environmental groups.

The campaign is to spur those organizations “to look at what they are paying their staff of color, especially women of color, in contrast to white or male staff, as a means to address these problems,” Jimenez said.

Earthjustice President Abigail Dillen said nonprofit public interest and environmental groups “have an urgent obligation to lead the way. Gender inequality and systemic racism are at the root of injustices that drive the environmental problems we are aiming to solve.”

The Sierra Club has received funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable organization founded by Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg Law is operated by entities controlled by Michael Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dean Scott in Washington at dscott@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Zachary Sherwood at zsherwood@bloombergindustry.com