Canadian Institute of Forestry Announces an Initiative to Promote Gender Equity in Canada’s Forest Sector

News Release                                                                                               

(Version française disponible)

November 30, 2018, Ottawa – The future of Canada’s forest sector requires a diverse and inclusive workforce. The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada (CIF-IFC) is pleased to announce an initiative to create a National Action Plan to promote gender equity in the forest sector.

The CIF-IFC applauds the Government of Canada’s commitment to this initiative. A formal announcement of federal funding for the project was made by Mr. Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Status of Women at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa. “When we invest in women, we strengthen the economy for everyone,” remarked Mr. Duguid.

Data from Statistics Canada in 2017 reveals that women make up roughly 17% of the natural resources workforce, “It’s time for action. We are thrilled that the CIF-IFC is leading the first national public-private sector partnership targeting gender equity in Canada’s forest sector. This initiative will support the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in Canada’s diverse and dynamic forest sector,” explains Dana Collins, CIF-IFC Executive Director.

This initiative, delivered in collaboration with the Centre for Social Intelligence, includes a diverse steering committee to advise on the development of a National Action Plan. These gender champions will work collaboratively within their spheres of influence across the sector to create a wave of change toward gender equity in the Canadian forest sector.

“This needed cultural shift will create long-lasting effects beyond the term of this project. When we enable diversity and inclusion and foster the growth and professional development of unrepresented voices and perspectives, our sector can only strengthen,” adds Collins. “With the emergence of more female mentors, more young women will choose careers in the forest sector, engaging in the long-term health and productivity of Canada’s forests and increasing Canada’s economic competitiveness in the global market.”

Members of the National Steering Committee for Gender Equity in Canada’s Forest Sector include:

Kathy Abusow – President and CEO

  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Dana Collins – Executive Director

  • Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada

Kelly Cooper – President

  • Centre for Social Intelligence

Heather Dryburgh, Acting Director General: Census Subject Matter, Social and Demographic Statistics Branch

  • Statistics Canada

Christine Gelowitz – CEO

  • Association of British Columbia Forest Professionals

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Johanne Latour – Director, Corporate Human Resources Services


Jonathan Lok – Managing Partner

  • Strategic Natural Resource Consultants

Beth MacNeil – Assistant Deputy Minister

  • Natural Resources Canada

Joel Neuheimer – Vice President, International Trade, Transportation, Corporate Secretary

  • Forest Products Association of Canada

Isabel Pouliot – Vice President, Compensation, Corporate Services and Strategic HR Initiatives

  • Resolute Forest Products

Dr. Maureen Reed – Professor, Assistant Director-Academic, School of Environment and Sustainability

  • University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Peggy Smith – Professor Emerita, Faculty of Natural Resources Management

  • Lakehead University

Tanya Wick – Vice President People & Services

  • Tolko Industries Ltd.

Stephen Wyatt – Assistant Professor, Social forestry and Forest policy at the Faculty of Forestry

  • Université de Moncton

Bradley Young – Executive Director

  • National Aboriginal Forestry Association



Dana Collins

Executive Director

Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada