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Even in progressive climate tech field, gender equality remains a challenge

by | Feb 17, 2023 | Public Relations

Men are earning an average of 10 percent more than women in climate-related work, new research from climate industry diversity advocacy Women+ in Climate Tech reveals in an analysis of the latest Environmental Jobs Salary Transparency survey, an open-source multi-year survey founded by Yale School of the Environment graduates that supports professionals moving into climate.

With over 500 responses, the Environmental Jobs Transparency Survey can be mined for trends, although more data is admittedly needed. Women+ in Climate Tech’s analysis of base pay from the data reveals:

  • Across all roles, men make an average of 10 percent more than women.
  • Graduate degree holders make 23 percent more than non-graduate degrees. Graduate degrees also reduce the gender pay gap (16 percent for non-graduate degrees, 6 percent for graduate degrees).
  • The gender gap varies by industry. For example, among those without graduate degrees:
    • In consulting, men earn 26 percent more.
    • In government, men earn 20 percent more.
    • In non-profits, men earn 12 percent more.

Climate tech is experiencing explosive growth

Sector funding represents more than a quarter of every venture dollar invested in 2022, according to the recent State of Climate Tech 2022 report from PwC. Concurrently, layoffs from other IT sectors are driving migration to climate work.

“The emerging field of climate tech is almost unimaginably innovative—wave energy, meatless burgers, capturing carbon, harvesting metals from plants—climate tech is reinventing products and services to protect our planet instead of exploiting it,” said Helen Whiteley, executive director of Women+ in Climate Tech, in a news release.

“But more than products and services, let’s use the opportunity to reinvent business as a whole, upending dated practices that no longer serve and lead to the degradation of people and planet. Longstanding pay inequity is just one example, and unlike some problems, this one is not that hard to solve,” continued Whiteley.

“Further, research from Project Drawdown and many others reveals that gender equity improves both business and climate outcomes,” said Whiteley. “If we could embed it into every investor’s strategy, every climate tech solution, imagine the distributed impact. This is what Women+ in Climate Tech is working to do, and pay equity is a very good place to start.”

To augment current data, Women+ in Climate Tech is seeking volunteers to take a short, 5-minute Qualtrics survey seeking salary data for 2022. Results will be published in the run-up to Equal Pay Day (March 15), and will provide data to support salary negotiations, pay parity, and more. All members of the ESG, sustainability, and climate communities are invited to participate.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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