People of color are 36% of the U.S. population, and comprise 29% of the science and engineering workforce. However when it comes to the environmental field, they do not exceed 16% of the staff in any of the organizations surveyed in the Green 2.0 report (written by Dr. Dorceta Taylor). For decades, environmental organizations have stressed the value of diversity however the diversity composition has not broken the 16% green ceiling (2019 Transparency Report Cards).

At the Next 100 Coalition Summit in 2018, participants examined barriers to access for professional opportunities in conservation. One important point was the lack of an accessible professional network for some young leaders of color interested in joining the conservation community and outdoor industry. That conversation continued at the Children & Nature Network Leadership Summit, where it was highlighted as one of the core inequities in the field.

In an effort to reduce those barriers to access and demystify the conservation job search, we’re excited to launch a partnership between Natural Leaders Network, The Wilderness Society, and Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Alumni Network. By bringing young leaders from communities of color to the table with Wilderness Society Staff for a series of webinars and informational interviews, we hope that these leaders will be better able to discover, identify, and pursue careers in the conservation field that excite them.

We will host a series of webinars sharing information about navigating the job search in conservation and spotlighting TWS staff to show what careers can look like in the field. Then, we will connect the participants with TWS staff who have volunteered to provide informational interviews. These conversations can help the Natural Leaders to identify career opportunities of interest and solicit advice on how best to pursue them.

We realized it could be powerful to pair The Wilderness Society staff’s familiarity with the ins and outs of the conservation job search with the Natural Leaders Network and Doris Duke Conservation Scholars networks of young up and coming leaders and their passion and knowledge about conservation. TWS staff and these young leaders can learn from one another through the webinars and informational interviews. With conservation being a disproportionately white field, this initiative seeks to help connect leaders of color with opportunities they may not have considered or known about and continue to diversify and strengthen the conservation movement.

The introductory webinar will take place on Monday, March 4th, followed by webinars throughout March highlighting a wide range of possible careers in conservation including philanthropy, policy, community engagement, communications, and science/research. After the young leaders learn about possible career paths, they will then be able to sign up for one on one informational interviews with TWS staff during April to talk through pursuing careers of interest. Future job postings at The Wilderness Society will then be made more explicitly available to them so that they can apply if interested, with a new level of internal networking and connection.

Webinars

We will host six webinars (one hour each) throughout the month of March. For invitations to the specific webinars, please reach out to leaders@childrenandnature.org, or follow the Natural Leaders Network Facebook page.

  • Introduction to the Conservation Job Search and Informational Interviews: Hannah Malvin (Senior Representative, Partnerships) and CJ Goulding (Natural Leaders Network Lead)

    • Monday, March 3rd at 4pm Eastern

  • Policy: Lydia Weiss (Director of Government Relations) and America Fitzpatrick (Senior Representative for Government Relations)

    • March 13th at 1pm Eastern

  • Science/Research: Tim Fullman (Senior Ecologist) and Travis Belote (Senior Ecologist)

    • March 14 at 2pm Eastern

  • Community Engagement: Juan Pérez Sáez (Energy and Climate Campaign Manager) and Louise Bruce (Idaho High Divide Community Organizer)

    • March 20th at 3:15pm Eastern

  • Philanthropy: Todd Stephens (Strategic Services Coordinator)

    • March 27th at 4pm

  • Communications: Andrea Alday (Deputy Director Regional Communications Strategy)

    • March 28th at 1pm

 

Informational Interviews

Once the participants have been exposed to the different career paths, they will have the chance to be matched with TWS staff who have volunteered to participate in informational interviews. On 30 minute phone calls the participants will have the chance to talk with a TWS staffer to learn about their position, what they do, how they got there, ask questions, and get tips on advice for a successful job search in conservation.

Sign up for informational interviews here until March 22, 2019.

 

Partners

The Natural Leaders Network is a part of the Children and Nature Network, associated with TWS Governing Council member Juan Martinez. It is a network of diverse young leaders ages 18-30 working to increase equitable access to nature in their communities. They are either in school or working in roles such as federal land managers, school teachers, environmental education facilitators, engineers, and community counselors/organizers. They are all graduates of the Natural Leaders Legacy Camp, a training, professional development program, and lifetime peer learning network for young leaders interested in connecting their communities to nature and potentially, careers in the outdoor and environmental fields.

 

The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

 

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Alumni Network Managed by the Environmental Leadership Program, DDCSP’s alumni network responds to the need to attract and employ individuals from racial and ethnic groups that are largely absent in today’s conservation workforce by increasing the number of undergraduate students from underrepresented groups who choose to pursue coursework and careers in conservation.

 

For more information contact CJ Goulding at CJ@childrenandnature.org, Hannah Malvin at Hannah_Malvin@tws.org, or Lucy Alejos, DDCSP Digital Community Engagement Manager at lucy@elpnet.org