Summarized results from Demographic Status Quo analysis:
Demographic profile across sectors in time and space:
These results are informed by the data analysis and interviews and are thus confined to the limitations discussed in the methodology. However due to the many parallels drawn across from this study to others of very similar nature and the high correspondence between many different databases, we can develop these conclusions with a fairly high degree of confidence
1. EIA&M (as represented by IAIA and other organizations) is not demographically representative and there remains a disproportionate number of Whites in the sector relative to the national population demography profile.
2. There is not uniform distribution of EIA&M service providers and civil society across provinces, in terms of demographic group and gender:
- Within areas with a higher provincial demographic population of Blacks, IAIA had more Black members as compared to Black membership proportions in other provinces
- Gender representivity differed widely within provinces and demographic groups: the Eastern Cape membership had more Coloured Females than Coloured males, Free State has poor Coloured and Black female representivity, KwaZuluNatal has high women representivity in all demographic groups except Whites, Limpopo and Mpumulanga have limited White female representivity, Southern Cape has no Black representative of either gender but a very good female Coloured representivity
3. There is unequal demographic representivity across EIA&M sectors:
- Most individuals within demographic groups are working within consultancies (the private sector), although a greater proportion of Whites are consultants (or in EAPs) than other groups. Government positions play a bigger role in Black jobs than in the other demographic groups.
- There is a greater proportion of Whites in NGO jobs relative to the total, than in other demographic groups.
- Whites are over-represented in all sectors except government
- Asians are under-represented in NGOs , Coloured and Asians are often under-represented in the sectors
4. Within the EIA&M professional registration bodies, there is non-representative demographics in terms of
- Whites dominate, especially in the natural sciences bodies (eg SAIEES is 85% White).
- Males also dominate except in IAIA (but this is likely because it includes more government representatives)
- Coloured males are over-represented compared to Coloured women in Integrated Waste Management and there are many more White men than White women in SAIEES
- Professional categories are White-dominated but Candidate Categories are dominated by Blacks.
- Asians are well represented in ECSA but Coloureds need more representivity and Blacks.
- The highest proportion of Blacks occurred in a low category level Candidate Engineering Technician, indicating skills shortages
- IAIA conference delegates showed Blacks representivity is slowly catching up across sectors, except in private sector where whites are highly over-represented.
5. Government involved in EIA&M shows high transformation and gender representivity due to well-structured and commitment to policies and legislation:
- In IAIA conference delegate and membership representivity analyses, in government profiles and from censuses from the literature
- UP – BSc Environmental Science – Greater numbers of Whites, No Coloureds
- Few Blacks, especially females, in higher tertiary levels
- Engineering – equal Blacks and Whites, more males
- Law at NWU - very few Blacks, Coloureds or Asians
- UWC - more Blacks and Coloureds than Whites in Applied Geology, Environment and Water Sciences and Biodiversity and Conservation degrees
- Across Environmental Sciences there are increasing Black graduates (more than Whites) and there is an increase in enrolments
- Historically advantaged universities like UCT, produce more PhDs and more White PhDs, whereas historically disadvantage universities produce more Black Phds but less overall
7. Women are under-represented in environmental higher education relating to EIA&M:
- There are far fewer females in scientific and environmental disciplines in university staff and research chairs
- Women produce far fewer doctorates and papers than men in SET
- Few women, particularly Black women, in postgraduate levels
8. Demographic representivity in the EIA&M private sector is skewed and transformation is slowed by lack of formal policies or skills development:
- At conferences Whites were far more likely to give talks in disproportion to their representation at the conference, whereas Blacks gave far fewer talks than expected from their representation in numbers at the conference
- Interviews showed lack of skilled applicants (with qualifications and “soft” skills like report-writing, language, people skills)
- There remains a dominance of white males in EAPs, especially senior management, and a predominance of white women in middle management
- There are few structured or formal transformation policies within EAPs but there is an emphasis on BEE strategies and there is an emphasis by management on ownership incentives for retention of BEE targets
- There are few gender policies in place or incentives for women
- Little emphasis is placed on skills development of HDIs within EIA&M private sector (but see Arcus Gibbs). HSRC (2009) says budgets on training have decreased in recent years!
9. Networking is perceived as a crucial skill in EIA&M for gaining work and recognition (high proportion of interviewees received jobs through this channel as opposed to conventional job vacancy advertising channels)
10. There is perceived high staff turnover of HDIs within the whole EIA&M
- Staff retention strategies are needed.
- Perceptions are that passion is needed in environmental career, which is normally a result of exposure to the environment through mentors or school
- Perception is that people leave for better pay
- Perception that government is losing institutional memory due to high staff turnover and low salaries (poached by higher-paying EAPs). This is backed up by data from HSRC 2009.
- Perception that NGOs lose
HDIstaff to private sector as they don’t have resources for high salaries
11. Paucity of information on EIA&M graduate output compared to skills scarcity
- Might be a function of unreasonably high expectations of graduates by employers
- Might be because graduates are leaving the sector
12. Paucity of information on cultural tension within the EIA&M work environment
13. Soft skills are lacking in education and training programs of EIA&M applicants
- Report-writing, people and language skills needed for EIA&M
14. Little is being done to raise awareness of EIA&M as a career
- Secondary schools have very little environmental information
15. Need for more entrepreneurial skills within EIA&M
- Few black specialists or
HDI-owned EAPs in EIA&M
16. NGOs involved in EIA&M show uneven transformation
- Big well-established NGOs, like WWF and WESSA still White-dominated in senior management; EWT White-female majority in senior management
- Small CBOs and sustainable development NGOs more representative