Does Workforce Diversity Matter in the Fight against Climate Change? An Analysis of Fortune 500 Companies

Cristina Ciocirlan, Elizabethtown College
Caroline Pettersson, Michael Page International


This paper asks whether more diverse companies are more committed to the fight against climate change than less diverse companies. Workforce diversity is measured along several socio-demographic dimensions: age, gender, race, and presence in European Union countries. The paper develops the concept of Environmental Workplace Behavior, which explains how environmental attitudes and beliefs influence work decisions. The dependent variable is a climate change index calculated by a non-profit organization, for a sample of Fortune 500 companies. A cross-sectional research design is employed, using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression to analyze the data. The results suggest that companies that employ more women and have a stronger European presence tend to exhibit a higher concern for climate change. Companies do not seem to involve minorities and young people in meaningful decision-making regarding climate change actions and initiatives. Future research might analyze other diversity dimensions, such as gender orientation, education, political liberalism, or religious affiliation. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.