Women in forestry looking forward

“Looking forward” was the theme of this year’s She is Forestry (SIF) annual Women in Forestry webinar to celebrate Women’s Month in August in South Africa.

Text Katy Johnson Photo Forestry South Africa


The She is Forestry webinar championed the opportunities for professionalism, leadership abilities, and accomplishments of women in South Africa’s forestry industry. The presentations placed the discussions firmly in the global context of climate change and ways for the industry to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


One of the themes in the webinar was Investing in the future, presenting FOREST21 and how it will positively impact future generations of forestry students. The theme was presented by Dr Eija Laitinen, Project Coordinator and Principal Research Scientist at Häme University of Applied Sciences in Finland, and Dr Tatenda Mapeto of Nelson Mandela University.


“The depiction of forestry as male-dominated is fading. The world needs climate-smart entrepreneurial foresters who can solve problems in the real world. Educators must be committed to developing the future”, Dr Laitinen noted.


Dr Mapeto agreed: “We need a proactive education framework that incorporates the challenges that we face. The industry must continue to seek to attract young women who will be visible peers and inspiring role models. We must tell the stories of women in the sector.”


Modified from the article published in WoodBiz Africa, August 2021.