2017 was a busy year for WIW! We thought it was time to bring you all up to speed on what’s been happening.
It’s been just over a year since the Women in Wood website and Twitter account launched, and what a great year it has been! Since we first launched Women in Wood in 2016, the community has grown, and we wanted to take a minute to reflect back on 2017 together, and update you on what’s been happening.
Maria Church, Editor at Canadian Forest Industries and Canadian Biomass magazines and fellow WIW was so kind to ask us write an article for Wood Business Magazine.
WIW gathered at SawTech Log Expo in Renfrew, Ontario on June 25. We were pleased and surprised with the number of women who attended, and impressed by the diversity of interests and jobs held by attendees. We were so honoured to hear each women’s story, and valued the sharing of advice that took place.
Women in Wood attended and presented at Women in Trees, a celebratory event hosted by Fleming College. The event brought together over 100 women of all ages to hear from panelists about their career experiences, and then was followed by a tree climb. Read more about the fantastic event from one of the speakers, Adrina Bardekjian, who was joined by WIW co-founder Jessica Kaknevicius and Danielle Fleming from Ontario Power Worker’s Union. Special thanks to Katrina Van Osch-Saxon for organizing this amazing event!
There was a very special moment at the Ontario Professional Foresters Association Annual Conference in Guelph, Ontario last May when all women in attendance gathered for a group photo outside. We were absolutely ecstatic to see how many women were in attendance, and many connections were made with old acquaintances and new.
The Women in Wood Facebook group has grown to over 400 women across Canada and the US. In addition, our Twitter and LinkedIn followers continue to also grow! Through these WIW networks, many women have shared their success stories and challenges. We’ve learned that experiences vary across the country, and while some women have had incredible success in their careers, there is still work to be done in leveling the playing field, especially in management ad leadership roles, and representation on boards.
We’ve had some excellent guest bloggers who have provided interesting perspectives and insights, and shared their experiences. Special thank you to Susan Gesner, Kathy Abusow, Lana Norton and Christine Leduc for taking the time to write. We are always on the search for more blog writers – so please get in touch if you would like to contribute.
In September, in conjunction with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) conferences in Ottawa, we co-hosted an event with SFI Inc., which was sponsored by EACOM. This event exceeded our expectations. The room was packed and LOUD with all of the conversations being had. We met so many Women in Wood and even some male supporters! Special thanks to Kathy Abusow and her crew at SFI, and Christine Leduc from EACOM for making the event happen.
On the social media front, profiling individual Women in Wood and the roles they fill has had some great results. We hope to show young women who are on the verge of choosing a career path that there’s a place for them in the forest sector, and the possibilities are endless for where they can go.
The swag! T-shirts and toques have been a hit and are being sported across the country!
We started this project as a way to bring together women working in all aspects of the forest sector to learn from each other, and help one another succeed. We are absolutely astounded at how much interest there’s been in Women in Wood, and how many people have reached out and offered support or encouragement. Every conversation has left an impression on us. Perhaps the best part of this year is how many women have shared their stories, started conversations and been an inspiration without even realising it. We are so grateful to all Women in Wood and their supporters! Thank you so much.
We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store! We are looking forward to more events, emphasizing on mentorships, and hoping to provide some learning opportunities. Stay tuned!
Lacey & Jess