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Environmental Non-Profits Agree: More Diversity Needed


A University of Michigan researcher says environmental non-profits need to do a better job of encouraging diversity among volunteers, staff and leadership.


Dr. Dorceta Taylor says her study of non-profits that focus on conservation and preservation shows women have made inroads to leadership positions, but a glass ceiling still exists.

"Males still dominated the most visible and powerful positions in the organizations," Dr. Taylor says.  "Presidents, CEOs, executive directors, and chair of the board.  Males still dominated those."

And Dr. Taylor says while women have made advancements, women of color have not. 

Lisa Wosniak is Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. 

She says a lack of diversity is a problem non-profits like hers have been dealing with for decades and have made some progress addressing.

"But there is a lot more work that needs to be done," Wosniak says. "There is a continued extreme lack of diversity in almost all environmental and conservation organizations, and it's absolutely nothing to be proud of."

Mike Garfield, Director of The Ecology Center, agrees. 

He says "All of us in the environmental movement need to work harder and find more effective ways to diversify our organizations and institutions."

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