Washington, D.C. – The Women’s Forest Congress (WFC), a leading voice for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the forest community, is thrilled to announce the appointment of a group of exceptional women to its Steering Committee and Advisory Council. This diverse and accomplished group of individuals will bring their perspectives, experiences, and expertise to provide crucial leadership and guidance to the organization. The new Steering Committee and Advisory Council members’ viewpoints will enrich and empower the WFC to make an even greater impact on the future of forests.
The nine remarkable women who have joined WFC leadership are:
WFC Steering Committee additions:
WFC Advisory Council additions:
- Lily Brod, Bonney Lake, WA
- Angela Coleman, Vallejo, CA
- Cecilia Hernandez, Albuquerque, NM
- Shenandoah Johns, Vancouver, British Columbia
- Jaana Korhonen, Raleigh, NC
- Toni Sandoval, Yakama Nation, WA
The complete list of Steering Committee and Advisory Council Members is available on the Women’s Forest Congress website along with recognition of past leaders whose terms ended earlier this year and who contributed to the formation and success of the WFC to date.
“We are thrilled to welcome this diverse and talented group of individuals, whose collective wisdom will help us chart a course towards a more equitable future in the forest community,” said Alicia Cramer, a founding member of the WFC Steering Committee and current member of the Advisory Council. “As the WFC embarks on our next chapter with a renewed sense of purpose, the Steering Committee and Advisory Council will play a pivotal role in implementing the 2022 WFC Declaration and Call to Action, continue to build the WFC community, and formalize the WFC organizational structure.”
The leadership additions were selected via an application and nomination process opened earlier this year, and the current leadership had the honor of reviewing nearly 40 well-qualified and passionate candidates. Both leadership teams represent diverse interests from throughout the forest and wood products sector, including private companies, public agencies, and conservation organizations. The new leaders also support the WFC’s intentionality for representation and ensuring diversity of backgrounds, experience, geography, and race and ethnicity in leadership and decision-making.
“Representation is essential to the work and impact of the Women’s Forest Congress,” says Dawn Simmons, a current member of the Steering Committee. “Many women working in the forest sector experience tremendous intersectionality with multiple aspects of their identity besides gender, including age, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, being a parent, and immigration status. It is important to create inclusive spaces for experiences and insights to be shared.”
The new members and leadership teams will continue to contribute their insights to define the trajectory of the WFC. Their valuable contributions will be instrumental in shaping the organization’s direction and driving the implementation of the groundbreaking Women’s Forest Congress Declaration, which was finalized, endorsed, and adopted at the Inaugural Women’s Forest Congress in October 2022. The Declaration challenges organizations in the forest and forest products sector to:
- FOSTER workforce opportunities for all women through mentorship programs, professional development, scholarships, with a particular focus on reaching out to those who need help or are asking for assistance in any part of their journey;
- BROADEN recruiting practices to include wider networks, and build a pipeline of talent by connecting with and showcasing forests and the forest and forest products sector to youth and students, creating job shadowing and internship opportunities, etc.;
- BUILD workplace systems that support mental health coverage, and include training and programs promoting healthy lifestyles, such as family leave, flexible work schedules, generous vacation plans, social opportunities, and holistic wellness programs;
- PROMOTE a variety of working environments, encourage flexibility, and ensure all work environments are fully accessible;
- ENABLE employees to prioritize mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health and model healthy behaviors for others;
- CREATE a safe, inviting, and welcoming workspace for all resulting in greater wellness, increased retention, higher productivity, improved creativity, and heart-centered decision-making;
- ASSESS compensation for women and promote paths to pay equity at all levels, including discrepancies in intersectional identities, communities, and demographics;
- INTENTIONALLY IDENTIFY and support more women and those from underrepresented groups to achieve leadership positions;
- INCREASE the use of storytelling in conferences, trainings, and workshops; and
- APPLY models and frameworks to generate and realize solutions to the greatest forest challenges that are built on women’s strengths, such as inclusive, collaborative, and multi-scale holistic thinking.
About the Women’s Forest Congress
The Women’s Forest Congress is a forum to develop strategies and solutions for forests through an inclusive lens. Women throughout the forest space have come together to share personal and professional experiences, connect with other women in the sector, shape the latest innovations, and consider how actions informed by our perspectives can make a profound impact on the future of forests. We envision a forest community where there is universal equity, inclusion, and a shared sense of belonging. All voices are heard, supported, and empowered. The influence and impact of all are manifest in our relationships with forests. Learn more about the Women’s Forest Congress and sponsorship opportunities.
Founding WFC Steering Committee Member
Founder, Wood & Co Consulting