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2021 Year in Review

Well, another year has come and gone and the Women in Wood community continues to grow and support one another. More than 2,500 women across the globe have joined the Facebook network – an increase of 25% since last year! These women continue to step up to support one another, offer advice, share job opportunities, encourage newcomers and share a laugh. Although most members are in North America, there are women tuning in from further afoot, including Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Norway, Denmark, Austria, France and Slovenia.

Here are some highlights from 2021:

  • We launched a new graphic showcasing the diversity of Women in Wood, and a new long-sleeve tee. More than 150 of these shirts have been mailed all over, with $5 from each shirt being donated to charities that support diversity and inclusion – that’s more than $700 donated to date! In addition, we mailed out more than 150 hoodies again this year, and heard reports of WIW strangers spotting each other sporting their swag at the same time. We LOVE it!

  • In other swag news, an interesting thing has happened. Employers across North America have been placing bulk orders of shirts for all the women on site! And, in some cases, for men as well as a way to show their support for the Women in Wood in their workplace.

  • We launched a newsletter to engage with WIW, supporters, and those who may not be on the social media bandwagon! There have been 4 editions to date.

  • We very happy to host a WIW panels for U of T’s Faculty of Forest Conservation, Fleming College’s forest tech class and UNB’s forestry program and to get to meet many bright up-and-coming women entering the forest sector.

  • A definite highlight this year was an awesome Women in Wood webinar delivered by the communication-savvy Christine Leduc on Putting your best social foot forward.

  • There are a LOT of discussions about gear in the WIW group, and it seems manufacturers are starting to notice the increase in demand for women’s PPE and other apparel. One company even reached out to ask from WIW themselves what they’d like to see improved or added to suit their work needs.

  • We’re so happy to see and connect with other like-minded networks for women in underrepresented sectors. This year we met Ladies of Landsat, and learned about the awesome things they are up to in this blog post.

  • We were honoured to write a post about Women in Wood for Nature’s Packaging website

  • Women in Wood was happy to present and learn at the Institute for Chartered Foresters Young Professional Conference, Canadian Forest Industries’ first Women in Forestry Virtual Summit, and even engage with the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry to talk about women in the forest sector on International Women’s Day, along with other women in Ontario’s forests.

Mostly, 2021 for us was a year to appreciate how much the group has grown into a self-sufficient network of epic women who show up for each other, time and time again. Someone posts about a possible career pivot into the forest sector? Dozens of helpful replies and shared experiences! Asking for recommendations for winter safety boots? 30+ experiences shared! Looking for advice on salary negotiation? Suggestions from all experience levels and career spectrums.

One of the most interesting questions we were asked this year was: “Where do you want to see Women in Wood in 5 years?”. After reflecting about this, what we hope is that the network will be a place for women to grow and progress in their careers, and not a place mostly focused on helping women navigate the challenges they are faced in their careers. This will be because diversity will be commonplace and no longer a hot topic. We see a shift happening, and love that the face of the sector is starting to look more like MANY unique faces.

We are ALWAYS here to celebrate the success of women in the sector, and there are many! There are more and more women advancing to leadership positions and we are bursting with pride for these trailblazers. We can't wait to see what 2022 will bring.

- Lacey and Jess


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