Canada invests $467K for gender equality in forestry
By Kristina Urquhart
November 29, 2018 – The Canadian government has announced a $467,000 investment in the Canadian Institute of Forestry to fund a three-year project aimed at increasing women’s economic security in the forestry industry.
The project, called “Gender Equality in Forestry National Action Plan,” will work to remove the barriers that prevent or discourage women from pursuing middle-class jobs and careers in the forestry industry. These obstacles include pay equity issues and child care, unequal access to training and trades, lack of management opportunities and misconceptions about the sector in general.
Women are underrepresented at all levels within the forestry sector, the federal government says. In 2016, only 17 per cent of workers in the forestry sector were female. The project will bring women already working in different areas in the forestry sector together with industry stakeholders, NGOs, Indigenous groups, professional associations and women who are interested in working in the sector, and will develop and implement a strategic national plan to promote more opportunities for women in forestry.
“We are very pleased to receive the support of the federal government to help us remove barriers for women who want to work in the forestry industry,” says Dana Collins, executive director of the Canadian Institute of Forestry. “Developing a plan through Gender-based Analysis Plus will help create a workplace that encourages more women to pursue employment in forestry and our bioeconomy, where STEM expertise is in heavy demand.”
McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by taking steps to advance equality for women – such as employing more women in technology and boosting women’s participation in the workforce – Canada could add $150 billion to its economy by 2026.