Equitable Pay and Hiring in Environmental Education
Environmental education, like many other sectors, endeavors to answer the calls to examine its history of institutional racism and discrimination, adopt more inclusive hiring practices and address inequities in compensation and benefits packages to make our field more equitable, welcoming and sustainable.
Using the SEEA findings, we make the case for a reimagining of more equitable hiring and pay practices in the white paper "eeGuidance for Equitable Pay and Hiring in Environmental Education". EENC is proud to be among the writers, and endorsing partners, of this report.
In 2021 the Southeast Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA) conducted a landscape analysis to understand the current state, ongoing needs, and growth areas for the regional environmental education field. This data confirms that entry-level pay in environmental education is 15-25% lower than in comparable fields such as forestry, tourism, and formal education.
The eeGuidance provides recommendations and highlights some best practices for environmental and outdoor education organizations. There are several key areas that employers must change to make environmental education careers more accessible to a broader population, including pay and benefits, position design, recruitment, processes and practices. This document provides researched explanations of why these areas matter and outlines specific minimum standards for employers to enact immediately. We also identify the target standards that we all must work toward to transform employment in our field. Citations and resources are embedded throughout this document and collated at the end for further learning. Once applied, these standards and resources will help improve employee retention, attract more diverse talent, create a sustainable career path, and establish our field as a viable profession.
Have a job that meets the eeGuidance's minimum standards?
As an individual employer, help job seekers know that the position meets or exceeds the minimum standards outlined in this document by adding the following commitment statement at the bottom of job descriptions.
“This position meets or exceeds the recommendations as outlined in the eeGuidance for Equitable Pay and Hiring. [Employer Name] is committed to advancing employee equity in the field of environmental education to better serve our staff, our organization, and our community.”
Be sure to review the standards listed throughout this document and ensure your position meets 100% of the minimum standards before using this language. The Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance and other endorsing partners will not review every position that is posted as meeting these standards, so we must trust that employers who post positions with this statement in job descriptions have done so with careful consideration.