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. In this interview, IEMA's Tom Pashby speaks with Lucy Bradbury PIEMA, Global ESG Training and Development lead at AECOM.
Lucy Bradbury PIEMA, Global ESG Training and Development lead at AECOM

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].

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

I’m the Global ESG Training and Development Lead at AECOM, I upskill and engage our teams to enable us to embed ESG (environment, social and corporate governance) into everything we do. My background is in environmental compliance although I’m increasingly engaged in social sustainability. I’m one of the sponsors for our internal LGBTQ+ employee resource group in Europe and India, and I’ve recently been appointed as a National Executive for Building Equality, an alliance of organisations across the built environment sector whose aim is to make the industry more welcoming and inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community.

How do you describe your LGBTQIA+ identity?

Honestly, the description is very fluid recently. I tend to say queer or pansexual, but I increasingly try not to put a label on it.

What does your organisation do?

AECOM is the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from planning, design and engineering to program and construction management. I work in the Corporate ESG team and I love it. I’m based in Manchester, UK but I really enjoy working with teams across all regions and business lines. It’s a great time to work in ESG, everyone wants to talk about it!

What are your thoughts on Pride?

That it’s still very much needed! Whether you view Pride as a party or a protest, or a mixture of both, there have been several events recently that have served as a reminder of exactly why we still need Pride. As much as I love Pride season, I do think it’s important that we remember to be allies year round, your support shouldn’t stop when the Pride parades do.

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

My personal experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community working in sustainability has been an incredibly positive one, my team and colleagues are very supportive and are always open to listening and learning. There’s always work to do and we can’t let up, but the profession does feel like it’s becoming more diverse and accepting.

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

It would be great to see more out LGBTQ+ role models in senior roles, visible representation is so important. Similarly more visible senior allies would help the community feel more comfortable and send out the message of acceptance and inclusivity. It still feels like a lot of LGBTQ+ support is geared towards white gay men and that support tends to focus on one month a year, so it’d be helpful to have more of a focus on intersectionality going forwards and celebrate year-round to normalise the conversation and create safe spaces.

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.