Leaking Talent: How People of Color are Pushed out of Environmental Organizations is the latest publication of Green 2.0 (formerly the Green Diversity Initiative), a U.S. NGO whose purpose is “to stimulate the demand for, and demonstrate the supply of, talented leaders of all backgrounds” in the mainstream environmental movement.
Leaking Talent reports on a 2018 survey which determined that, amongst the 40 largest green NGOs in the U.S., only 20% of the staff and 21% of the senior staff identified as “People of Color”. The survey results for environmental foundations were similar: 25% of the staff and 4% of the senior staff identified as People of Color. To determine the factors related to retention and promotion, the author examined qualitative and quantitative data from employees, their HR or diversity managers, and their CEOs. Results showed that a focus on employee development and transparency in the promotion process had the most consistent impact on intent to stay for all employees. For top-level leaders, the strongest effect came from diversity and inclusion commitments stated in the organization’s mission, vision and values .
Green 2.0 established a baseline of data, and coined the term “green ceiling” in 2014 with The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations: Mainstream NGOs, Foundations & Government Agencies . That survey concluded that unconscious bias, discrimination, and insular recruiting were the top three barriers to hiring and retention in the mainstream movement. Other publications are: Beyond Diversity: A Roadmap to Building an Inclusive Organization (2017) , and in January 2019, the 2017 Transparency Report Card was updated.