Gender Equity in Canada’s Forest Sector Initiative

Gender Equity in
Canada's Forest Sector Initiative

The Gender Equity in Forestry National Action Plan initiative was launched in November 2018 by the Canadian Institute of Forestry in collaboration with the Centre for Social Intelligence. 

This is Canada’s first public-private funded national gender equity project and it aims to create a diverse and inclusive work force that provides the foundation for a thriving forest sector and healthy communities.

To contribute to this vision, the initiative’s Steering Committee – made up of gender champions from government, industry, academia, indigenous, and non-profit organizations – are working collaboratively across the forest sector to engage, attract, retain and advance women and inclusion and diversity.

This three-year project will involve the creation of a National Action Plan that will promote gender equity across Canada's forest sector.


The National Action Plan

The National Action Plan has a framework with three main pillars of action:

  • Building the Evidence Base - leveraging existing data to identify gaps and establish a baseline of information on gender representation across the sector.
  • 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.
  • Repositioning the Sector – Communicate and Recognize Progress - developing new branding that welcomes diverse and inclusive cultures. NEW microsite now live! 

For each pillar of action, three sub-committees, each comprised of members within the National Steering Committee as well as other stakeholders in the forest sector, have met numerous times throughout the year to develop strategic implementation plans with objectives and actions, specific to their respective pillar.

As the project moves into its third year in 2021, each of the three sub-committees will continue building their respective strategic implementation plans that in turn will shape the National Action Plan.

Did you know?

Data from Statistics Canada in 2017 reveals that women make up roughly 17% of the natural resources workforce, with the largest gender gaps in trades positions, as well as executive level positions and seats on Boards.  

NEW Free to Grow in Forestry microsite officially launched on January 13, 2021! 

As part of pillar three "Repositioning the Sector",  Free to Grow in Forestry communicates the resources developed through the Gender Equity in Canada’s Forest Sector National Action Plan Initiative 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.

As we continue to learn and grow, we all have a role to play in making our sector a place where everyone has the support they need to succeed and thrive.

Together, we can move #ForestryForward, and it’s about time! 

If you are active on social media, we encourage you to follow Free to Grow in Forestry on TwitterInstagramFacebook and/or LinkedIn.

You may also subscribe to the Free to Grow in Forestry email list by entering your email in the subscription box, which is located at the bottom of the website's homepage.

Questions? Contact us: 

CIF-IFC National Office - 

Check out our promotional video about the Initiative on YouTube