Social Equity Considerations for Cities’ Decision Making Related to Inner, Nearby, and Faraway Forests
Equal Employment Opportunities
Groups such as ethnic minorities, women, migrant communities, or those formerly incarcerated may also be excluded from equal employment opportunities due to implicit biasesImplicit biases: Having a preference for (or aversion to) a person or group of people, or associating stereotypes with them, without conscious knowledge. (adapted from Perception Institute). in hiring practices. This presents a barrier to designing equitable, inclusive projects to advance urban forestry and nature-based solutions. Programs such as those launched by the state forest service in Baltimore (Maryland) and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), U.S. provide targeted training and can help boost these groups’ career opportunities in this field.
Women are often underrepresented in the parks and forest service workforce given that these are traditionally male-dominated industries, and may be pushed into under-paid activities. Women can face threats of sexual violence and harassment in this sector, especially when they may need to work in remote, isolated places. Safety precautions, policies around behavior expectations and sensitizing men, and implementation of strict accountability measures are necessary. Sponsorship, mentoring programs, and family-friendly policies also help advance women’s roles in the workplace.3, 17
Identifying any structural barriers to the hiring or retention of minority groups in various capacities may include taking stock of the current diversity of the workforce, training teams to create an inclusive workspace, and creating a safe redressal mechanism for any complaints.