By: Alicia Cramer

Women and minority representation in the forest and wood product sectors, and to a lesser extent in the conservation community, has been an ongoing conversation during my 30+ year career. I have been reminded on many occasions that limited networking exists for women that support the sustainability of our forestlands and protected landscapes. I want to do more to showcase the talent pipeline and provide a venue for women to support each other, enabling the injection of new thought into our sectors.

Being part of building a network that has shared experiences and interests is the best way to grow our collective influence and impact. Gender in the workplace can be an issue, and without intentionality, progress in increasing our numbers and influence will be slow. The real work is exploring how forestry and conservation through the female lens can help our sectors thrive in an ever-changing world.

When you come into a room (virtual or otherwise), knowing you share a similar set of past experiences and challenges makes getting to know each other much easier. I hope that by bringing awareness, resources, and a shared purpose forward, we will support and lead the ongoing quest to promote sustainable forests and landscapes across North America.