CIWM (the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management) has published the results of its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) survey.
The primary purpose of the survey was to gather insights for the CIWM EDI strategy published in 2022 but the results are now being shared as they provide some insights that could be useful for the wider sector, CIWM says.
Although the survey response rate did not allow CIWM to gather sufficient data to provide a baseline for the sector, the organisation contends the information gathered provides a “broad insight” into the experiences of those working in the UK waste, recycling and resource management sector.
As part of the survey, respondents were allowed to express their personal experiences concerning EDI.
60% of those surveyed believe the sector provides an environment that encourages the free and open expression of ideas, opinions and beliefs with 70% believing that there are policies and procedures to promote diversity and inclusion in their organisations.
Only 16%, however, feel there is a good level of diverse representation at senior management level in the sector with 40% indicating they had seen, heard or witnessed comments or behaviour that has made them uncomfortable within their organisations in the last 12 months.
Poor EDI practices have a negative impact on all of us.
Commenting on the results, CIWM CEO, Sarah Poulter, said: “Poor EDI practices have a negative impact on all of us. They reduce the pool of talent from which we can recruit, make our industry less attractive, reduce input from a variety of voices and make us less successful as a sector in general.
“Addressing the issues and concerns that were shared will allow us to achieve our wider goals of attracting new skills into the sector and creating the diversity of thought that is needed to support the move to a world beyond waste.”
When asked what areas CIWM should prioritise to improve EDI in the sector the most common suggestions were better education on the issue for all; more diverse role models (e.g., speakers at events); organisational culture; outreach programmes to schools and colleges and recruitment and induction processes. These were in line with feedback collated from the CIWM focus groups and EDI working group.
Although the sample size of the survey was small, CIWM says addressing the issues and concerns that were shared by the respondents will be of “high importance” to support the move to a world beyond waste.