Free to Grow: The National Gender Equity Project in Forestry

Forest Professionals BC (FPBC) is a member of the national steering committee for the Gender Equity in Canada’s Forestry Sector Initiative.

Launched in 2018 and supported by the Canadian Institute of Forestry, the Centre for Social Intelligence, and Natural Resources Canada, the steering committee led a three-year project to create a national action plan to promote gender equity across Canada’s forest sector.

That plan resulted in the creation of Free to Grow in Forestry, a campaign that aims to achieve gender equality and meaningful inclusion of women, Indigenous Peoples, and new Canadians at all levels, from technical to executive level positions in the forest sector.

The forest sector plays an important role in Canada’s economy, employing hundreds of thousands of people each year and supporting many communities from coast to coast. While we’ve made some progress in advancing gender equality, there’s more work to be done.

Gender equity is crucial to the advancement of a thriving and resilient forest sector. As we continue to grow and change, we all have a role to play in making our sector a place where everyone has the support they need to succeed and thrive.

Visit the Free to Grow website.

The national action plan framework includes three main pillars of action:

  • Repositioning the sector: communicate and recognize progress – developing new branding that welcomes diverse and inclusive cultures.
  • Fostering an inclusive culture – developing several discrete products including a resistance strategy, identifying best practices from leading companies from around the world, as well as creating an advocacy toolkit to advance gender equality in the forest sector; and
  • Building the evidence base – leveraging existing data to identify gaps and establish a baseline of information on gender representation across the sector;

Watch the video on gender equity in Canada’s forest sector.

Watch the Free to Grow video.

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