Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers directors Shauna Black and Keith Lamb attended a recent Women in Forestry Industries workshop in Canberra around the International Women’s Day theme – Balance for Better.
More than 100 attendees discussed ways to achieve better gender balance in forestry in Australia, making a list of actions for forestry companies to implement.
“The old-fashioned notion of forestry being a bunch of blokes with chainsaws is well and truly debunked,” Ms Black said. “It was gratifying to see women there from all aspects of forestry – from directors to marketing professionals, silviculturists, scientists and machine operators.”
Groups worked together to formulate a vision, outline actions and rank priorities.
Australian Forest Products Association policy manager Natalie Heazlewood said there were some common themes from the groups and she listed the top three priorities from the workshop as:
1. Improve image/social license.
Promote forestry as environmentally friendly and socially sustainable.
Advertising campaign to show the diversity of the forestry industry and promote it.
2. Gender policy for all AFPA members – adopt core principals (signed up to be reported)
Plus aspiration goals eg flexibility, recruitment, mentoring, % employment.
Industry standard/pledge that support women in the industry. Standard would be reportable against setting benchmarks.
Companies sign on and report against it.
3. AFPA board gender equity by 2021.
Females invited to board meeting and Chamber meetings. Each member to commit to this target.