Forestry can often be viewed as a male dominated industry, but things are changing! The number of women joining the forestry sector across Scotland has been growing and we hope to see that growth continue. With the demand for green jobs increasing in Scotland the forestry sector is considered a crucial industry, helping to address the climate change emergency and tackle wider environmental issues, whilst supporting tourism and recreation, and addressing broader social, health, and economic factors.
Whilst the forestry workforce in Scotland traditionally has predominantly been made up of white men, continued efforts are being made to address the gender imbalance in the sector. With industry Equality and Mainstreaming Reports combining with actions and initiatives to widen diversity of applications into forestry roles.
Routes and pathways into employment within the forestry industry can be diverse. Women who have trained in STEM subjects are able to bring their transferable skills, experience, and insight into the sector. Forestry industry jobs are generally split into professional and operational roles, with a mix of full-time and part-time roles and with flexibility being offered in both the public and private sector.
There is a wide range of routes into the sector, with formal qualifications available to applicants at Certificate, Advanced Certificate, NC, HNC, and HND levels as well as undergraduate and postgraduate level and apprenticeship opportunities.
Two training providers, SRUC Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) Inverness College have reported gender imbalances in their forestry and land-based courses. With UHI Inverness College reporting a student intake of 89% males and 11% female in its land-based industry courses in 2021. SRUC’s gender action plan sets out their commitment to addressing gender imbalance within the subjects offered in the industry. Prior research by SCRU and others established that barriers to women entering courses starts with preconceptions and stereotypes which they aim to combat by providing practical encouragement, positive interventions, sharing success and by continuing to raise awareness.
The STEM Ambassadors in Scotland’s Forestry Ambassador scheme helps women working in the industry to raise awareness and provide female role models for young women through volunteering opportunities. Role models can be critical in helping to retain women in their STEM careers and support their career progression.
Have you thought about volunteering opportunities in your industry? There are many personal rewards that can be gained from volunteering as well as providing an opportunity to grow your personal and professional network, volunteering can increase your confidence and offer the opportunity to add new skills to your CV.
Equate advertise STEM jobs across all STEM industries including forestry and agriculture on our CareerHub. SSEN Transmission are currently seeking a Land Manager (closing date 5th February 2023), you can find out more and apply here Land Manager – Equate Career Hub.
If you feel you would benefit from taking the time and space to discuss your career, then Equate’s career clinic service is here for you. We offer a supportive and confidential space, free of charge for women in STEM to discuss their career journey. Why not make an appointment today? Applications via our website here Career Clinics – Equate Scotland.
Discover more here:
- Forestry and Land Scotland website
- Scottish Forestry Equality Mainstreaming Report –2019-2021, here
- Equalities Report: ICUHI-Equalities-Report—June-2021.pdf
- Scotland’s Forestry Strategy: Scotland’s Forestry Strategy 2019-2029 (www.gov.scot)
- Skills Action Plan for Rural Scotland: 2019-2021, Skills Development Scotland and The Scottish Government. skills-action-plan-for-rural-scotland-full-report.pdf (skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk)
- Skills Development Scotland (2022), Demand for green jobs in Scotland is growing | Skills Development Scotland
- SRUC’s Gender Action Plan: here
- Forestry & Land Scotland (2022), The craft of forestry is attracting a growing number of women – Forestry and Land Scotland