I’M sure you don’t need me to remind you, but 8th March is International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

As such, around that time you can expect to see hashtags like #WomenInForesty #Lumberjills and #ThisIsWhatAForesterLooksLike across our social media and others.

It is important to highlight and celebrate the contribution of women across the industry if we want more to pursue it as a career. And we should. Forestry has a skills shortage that is only predicted to get worse between now and 2030. In terms of recruitment, we’re missing out on 50 per cent of the population if we can’t demonstrate that forestry is a sector in which women can thrive.


Sharing their stories isn’t just about novelty or trying to show the industry isn’t quite as male-dominated as some might think (though that is important – I have no doubt the prospect of entering an all-male workplace would be daunting to many if not most women). It’s also valuable to learn how they got their start and the journey taken towards their current role.

Forestry Journal: Victoria Potts is the first to feature in our new Women in Forestry series Victoria Potts is the first to feature in our new Women in Forestry series (Image: Supplied)

I’m often asked by people with no background in forestry for guidance on how they could get into it. And that is not an easy question to answer. Routes into the sector – educational and otherwise – are few and far between. There are certain skilled roles for which no obvious pathway exists at all.

READ MORE: Women in Forestry: Forestry Journal launches new series

The UK government’s recent announcement of a slate of free forestry courses is tacit acknowledgement that we have a pretty big problem here. It’s a problem that can be rectified – but the clock is ticking.