To celebrate Pride month (June) 2022, IEMA is speaking with members who are LGBTQIA+, to find out what they are doing in the sector and to hear their thoughts on LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the environment and sustainability profession. IEMA's digital journalist Tom Pashby interviews Becky Toal MIEMA, managing director of Crowberry Consulting Ltd.

If you identify as LGBTQIA+, are a member of IEMA, and would like to be featured during Pride month, please contact IEMA’s digital journalist Tom Pashby at [email protected].

Becky Toal MIEMA, managing director of Crowberry Consulting Ltd

Who are you? What’s your role in the environment and sustainability sector?

My name is Becky Toal MIEMA CEnv, my pronouns are she/her, and I’m the Managing Director of Crowberry Consulting Ltd – Enabling Sustainable Futures. I manage a team based in Chorley, Lancashire and we provide B2B services in the world of training, audits and consultancy for sustainability focused on ISO standards, PAS frameworks, UNSDG and ESG methodologies for net zero, sustainable events, energy and environmental management.

How do you describe your LGBTQIA+ identity?

Lesbian.

What does your organisation do?

Crowberry Consulting Ltd – Enabling Sustainable Futures was established in 2006 with the mission to provide intelligence, integrity and inspiration to our clients in the field of sustainability. We provide bespoke training courses, ISO management systems for energy, environmental and events and also provide audits to ethical frameworks and work with strategic partners to add value to the supply chain.

What are your thoughts on Pride?

As pride was originally a riot it has come a long way since the early days, unfortunately, some pride events are now super commercial and seem to be all about profit. They are still important for our community, the smaller prides can now feel more inclusive and meaningful than the big city-wide organised ones. The focus on celebration of diversity and inclusivity is important as some parts of the world still cannot express this for fear of reprisal. I hope to be going to Liverpool and Blackpool prides this summer.

Do you feel like the environment and sustainability profession is inclusive for LGBTQIA+ individuals?

Given the overwhelming statistics on the sector being mostly white male there is a lot to do, hence the work of IEMA’s Diversity Sustainability Initiative (DSI). I don’t doubt that the sector can be more inclusive to LGBTIA+ people and it’s important that everyone feels welcomed and supported in this sector. It helps, for example, if job roles state that they welcome applicants from the LGBTQIA+ community and that the business recruiting is either an ally or LGBT owned. It also helps if the sector can show support in the form of policies and processes for LGBTQIA families/employees. The sector can also get on board with Diversity and Inclusion training for managers.

What do you think the environment and sustainability sector could do to improve equality, representation and inclusivity for LGBTQIA+ professionals?

This is linked to training for all managers, allies and members of the LGBTQIA community alike. Understanding our differences and common ground to support people into this wonderful sector we work in day in day out. Providing help with policies and processes to support LGBTQIA people at work in this sector, for example, shared maternity and shared paternity for same sex couples and having family friendly policies which are still rare to find in any company. Supporting people who may be transitioning and providing empathy and resources for their needs. Role models support representation and also help to show you can be authentic at work and not having to hide away. I know that IEMA’s DSI is in the planning stage of creating an LGBT network for environment and sustainability professionals, so this is something to keep an eye out for!

Please note: the views expressed in this blog are those of the contributing individual, and are not necessarily representative of the views of IEMA or any professional institutions with which IEMA is associated.

Photo of Tom P
Tom Pashby

Digital Journalist, IEMA

Tom Pashby is a Digital Journalist at IEMA, Tom previously worked in the corporate communications team at EIT Climate-KIC, in the parliamentary office of Caroline Lucas MP, for a think tank called Policy Connect, and for the wind energy industry group RenewableUK. They also set up an All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Role of the House of Lords, and an LGBTQIA+ campaign called Include Mx.