Environment and Gender

Today is the international day for women’s rights. It is a good time to reflect on how our collective perceptions of gender affect society at large but even the environment and climate.

Many pieces of research have shown that women tend to change their behaviour in order to harm the environment less, whereas men tend to do the exact opposite.

In a very interesting article in the Scientific American of last December, researchers from the USA and China have shown that the reason is that men perceive environment-friendly behaviours as unmanly. According to the experiment they have conducted, some men feel so much threatened in their masculinity when given a pink voucher, that, in order to reassert themselves, they will use the voucher to buy the least eco-friendly product available. The research team conducted other experiments one should really spend some time to read.

It is fascinating how different people can react to the same information in very different manners. This probably explains why internal communication about sustainability in large companies usually produces little effect. Except maybe in organisations with a very strong corporate identity, it is hard to engage everybody in changing their behaviour, with a single message.

This is very close to what Job Footprint is about: instead of delivering a ready-made campaign from management to a crowd of employees, give the chance to employees to find out solutions and motivate each other in changing behaviour.

To come back to the topic of the day, it has become clear that gender inequality is harming too many people, society at large and even the environment. It is hence time for everyone and every organisation to start working on it.

At Job Footprint, we take the matter of gender equality seriously and we strongly encourage talented women with a genuine interest in the environment and the climate to apply for a job with us.

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