We are proud to announce the expansion of the EDICT (Empowering Diverse Climate Talent) internship program for 2022, with 72 students taking on roles with 54 employers across the United States. EDICT, which was created to promote greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the climate technology space, offers paid, full-time internships to traditionally excluded groups: Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA+) community, people who have disabilities, people from low-income backgrounds, people who identify as nonbinary, and women, all of whom continue to be severely underrepresented in the sector. The 2022 program more than doubles the 2021 cohort, which had 25 member companies hosting 30 interns.
EDICT is a partnership between Elemental, Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI), and FutureMap initiated by two of Elemental’s portfolio companies that aims to go far beyond internship programs that focus primarily on matching candidates with companies. The goal of EDICT is to create a diverse pipeline of talent in the climate change workforce while increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices and commitments of partner employers from a wide range of industries, with dedication to solve climate change being a throughline for everyone involved. EDICT is designed for employers from all corners of climate innovation — for-profits, nonprofits, funders, government organizations, even media outlets — and cultivates opportunities for aspiring climate professionals, college students, and recent graduates from traditionally excluded backgrounds.
At the core of the EDICT program is the EDICT pledge, a commitment by employers to create a diverse and inclusive workforce centered around equity. Any organization committed to diversifying its workforce can take the pledge, whether they participate in the annual internship program or not. The pledge states that companies are committed to:
- Improving hiring & recruiting processes for interns, early, mid, and senior-level positions by ensuring a diverse candidate pipeline, a fair evaluation and interview process, competitive salary offers, and an inclusive onboarding process.
- Ensuring equitable culture through mentorship, sponsorship, promotion, and retention of diverse talent at all levels, which can be achieved through leadership development, high employee engagement, and pay equity.
- Engaging intentionally with external partners with diverse leadership and that value diversity, including but not limited to suppliers, leaders and community-based organizations from frontline communities, conference speakers, and customers.
- Transforming the mindsets, biases, and behaviors of current and future staff by providing training, resources and support regarding inter-team conflict, difficult conversations, implicit bias, anti-racism and other related topics.
- Using data to hold ourselves accountable and committing to transparency & publishing of that data so we can be the example of progress that we want to see in our sector.
“We’re so grateful to UtilityAPI’s Devin Hampton and Leap’s Jason Michaels for conceiving EDICT and for collaborating with our team at Elemental to help it grow to what it is today,” said Sara Chandler, Elemental’s Managing Director of Equity & Access. “EDICT can have the same level of impact on employment that the STEM push we’ve had over the last decade-plus has had on the education system.”
“We’re working to understand what it means to continually have the climate sector become more diverse in a way that’s sustainable,” added Antoinette West, Elemental’s Career Pathways Manager. “We want to shift the collective thinking to the point where it’s not a radical thing to have a diverse workforce — it’s just expected.”
“Our entire team is really excited to be working with our intern Emily, and she has jumped in with both feet, super curious and eager to learn,” said Forest Frizzell, co-founder and CEO, Shifted Energy. “Just a few days after starting with us, Emily has already been in the field, meeting with customers and helping recruit families into our Hawaiian Electric grid services program.”
EDICT interns participate in a wide variety of roles, including business development, engineering, marketing, policy, research, and more. In addition to their internships, they are exposed to a robust climate and energy curriculum to support their technical and networking experience. Every EDICT intern meets with industry professionals throughout the summer so they can identify the leaders most helpful for their personal career trajectories, pathways, and opportunities, in addition to career coaching that includes tailored guidance on career development in the STEM, climate, and energy sectors.
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Empowering Diverse Climate Talent (EDICT) is designed to create a diverse pipeline of talent for the climate sector, to empower climate organizations in creating inclusive cultures, and to support the skill and network development of rising leaders from traditionally excluded groups. Learn more on how you can get involved or support EDICT.