02 Mar 2018 - Amanda McLeod
Next Thursday March 8, 2018 is International Women’s Day, a time for the world to shine a spotlight on the achievements of women and renew its focus on moving towards gender equality.
As a major player in Australian forestry – a traditionally male-dominated industry – Forestry Corporation of NSW sees International Women’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate its achievements in creating a more diverse workplace and ask what else can be done to promote equity at work.
Forestry Corporation’s CEO, Nick Roberts, said while there was much work to be done to achieve gender quality throughout the industry, he is proud to lead an organisation taking real action to create an inclusive and flexible workforce.
“Our efforts to attract and retain women, highlighted in our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, show that we’re committed to women in leadership and we’re prepared to lead the way for the industry as a whole,” Mr Roberts said.
“Gender equality is not only about women making a valuable contribution to our business, it’s essential for the future prosperity of our industry.”
Mr Roberts said he was encouraged by the increase of female representation in Forestry Corporation’s recruitment figures. Over the past year, females have formed 36.75% of the applicant base, 35% of the interview base and 41% of the successful applicant base.
“With all the work we’re doing to improve our understanding of the current experience for women at Forestry Corporation, I’m hopeful this progress will continue,” said Mr Roberts.
This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress, which reflects the strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity of other online movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp. It’s about motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.
Forestry Corporation has embraced the idea of getting all staff to #PressforProgress with a week of activities and events showcasing the unique perspectives of women on its Board and those working in a broad range of Forestry Corporation jobs.
Tumut’s Haulage and Sales Supervisor Kerryann Reiners said she was excited to join Forestry Corporation because she can put her science degrees to use and enjoy the outdoors.
“I didn’t study forestry at uni. I studied adventure eco-tourism and parks, recreation and heritage. When I realised I wanted to work in forestry, I got involved through seasonal firefighting and was given every opportunity to succeed,” said Ms Reiners.
“People recognised I’d done a degree and had a bit of knowledge there. I was willing to give things a go and work hard so I got the position as a Harvesting Supervisor. Later, I delved into Haulage and Sales to see what that was like.”
Having worked across NSW during her career with Forestry Corporation, Production and Stewardship Supervisor Billie-Jo Brown says her role gives her exciting variety.
“l look after harvesting and roading contractors in Tumbarumba, pests, weeds and everything in between – everything other than harvest planning really!”
Ms Brown said she appreciates Forestry Corporation’s commitment to creating a diverse and flexible workplace and especially encourages regional women to consider a career in forestry.
“Go and see your local Forestry Corporation office, or National Parks and Wildlife office, or Local Land Services office. Whatever you’ve got in your town that has careers involved with forest or land management, go and do some volunteer work, school work experience or school holiday work with them. You never know where it might lead.”
For more information about International Women’s Day events visit https://www.internationalwomensday.com/
Media Contact: Amanda McLeod (02) 9407 4265 0408 779 903
Media contact: Amanda McLeod 9407 4265 | 0408 779 903