Women in Forestry Association
Women in Forestry Association was established in July 2009 and since then is actively supporting women connected with forestry in Poland.
Now we have more than 400 members. Twice per year we organise two days meeting- first day with lectures and second workshops.
Our main objectives are:
- Integrating women employed in forestry
- Increasing professional activity of female foresters;
- Creating and promoting female leaders;
- Supporting individual and professional development and education;
- Supporting women in difficult situations: legal, essential or financial ones;
- Promoting good practices and professional ethics;
- Promoting women rights through informational and educational activity;
- Promoting work-life balance;
- Creating opinion-forming environment
WOMEN IN FORESTRY
Forestry has been perceived as a male profession, however, more and more women are graduating from forestry faculty or schools. It is difficult to find a female forester who never faced a surprised response: ‘but I had an appointment with a forester’. It could be understood if it came from a layman, but it is rather frustrating when we hear that females’ professional worth in forestry is low from our colleagues. The general social change of attitude towards women in the last few years has made this opinion less audible, still it does not mean that the discrimination we experience has vanished.
The number of women in forestry is growing, but the stereotypes take their toll and we still hold positions mainly in offices, as specialists or administration employees. Rarely do women work in the field (in forest) or hold a management post. Even though the share of women in the Polish State Forests staff reached 28%, only one regional director (out of 17) is female and only 10 women manage forest districts (out of 420 that exist). The same tendency could be easily observed in Forest Faculties: there is almost an equal number of female and male PhD candidates, yet females less often become professors, consequently their perspective is underrepresented in the academic environment.
One may say that they do not see themselves in the male world full of power and competition. The only way to change it is to successively, step by step, take action and set new rules that allow everyone to prosper regardless of their sex, nationality or any other characteristic. Our grandmothers sacrificed for us when they were fighting for voting rights, so now we can do something for our daughters and granddaughters who are or are about to start their adventure with forestry.
What we want achieve
WE WANT WOMEN
IN FORESTRY TO:
Be perceived as partners with equal chances of professional development and equal salaries;
Be brave enough to became managers;
Build female solidarity;
Never experience discrimination or harassment;
Be able to defend themselves;
Believe in themselves.