In recognition of Women’s Climate Justice Day of Action today, September 29th, I’ve pulled together a little survey looking at gender and the environment in my own state. I’m doing this because I’ve been curious about it for a few months now, but haven’t ever seen something like this done before. I did a quick survey of the apparent genders of the board members for the following environmental groups working primarily in Washington State. Where information was unavailable, for example, there are in-state staff but no in-state board, those organizations were included in one table but not the other.
|WA Conservation Voters||9||7|
|WA Toxics Coalition||1||7|
|NW Straits Commission||10||3|
|Harbor Wild Watch||3||3|
|WA Environmental Council||10||12|
|NW Energy Coalition||7||7|
|Mountains to Sound||42||15|
|The Nature Conservancy Washington||17||7|
85 out of 218 board members of local environmental NGOs are women. That’s 39% women. 7 chairs/presidents of the board were men and 2 were women.
|WA Conservation Voters||5||11|
|WA Toxics Coalition||0||6|
|NW Straits Commission||1||5|
|Harbor Wild Watch||1||5|
|WA Environmental Council||11||19|
|NW Energy Coalition||4||6|
|Mountains to Sound||10||8|
|The Nature Conservancy Washington||2||8|
92 out of 146 staff members of environmental NGOs are women. That’s 63% women. I also found that 7 executive directors were women and 4 executive directors were men.
Climate Justice means to me that people of all genders have equal opportunity to influence environmental policy and management. It’s pretty awesome that enviro NGO staff are heavily women, even in the leadership positions. But it appears there may be an imbalance as the boards are men heavy, yet the staff are women heavy- and it makes me wonder what else is going on, and what else we can do today and beyond this Day of Action.
Do these results surprise you? What’s your experience with men and women in environmental groups in Washington? Let’s chat. @Women_and_Fish
*I used the use of “he” and “she” to identify a person’s gender. Obviously my cursory analysis only includes 2 genders, but I did not find any staff bios with gender neutral pronouns. I’d love to do a more detailed survey, so please contribute to the list if you have additional information or NGOs to include.