Free to Grow in Forestry

Gender Equity in Canada’s Forest Sector Initiative

Equity in the forest sector

Free to Grow in Forestry, an unprecedented collaboration that was launched as a result of the Gender Equity in Canada’s Forestry Sector Initiative, aims to create a diverse and inclusive work force that provides the foundation for a thriving forest sector and healthy communities.

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

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Gender Equity In Canada’s Forest Sector Initiative

The Gender Equity in Canada’s Forest Sector Initiative’s framework for action was launched in November 2018 by the Canadian Institute of Forestry in collaboration with the Centre for Social Intelligence (now known as Phase 1 of Free to Grow in Forestry).

This was 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 involved the creation of a Framework for Action that will promote gender equity across Canada’s forest sector.

Framework for Action

The Initiative’s Framework for Action 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 www.freetogrowinforestry.ca now live! 

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.