About 30% of forest owners in Austria are female and combined, they own about a quarter of the forest. Nevertheless, the Austrian forestry sector remains male-dominated.
Gender Equality means more than just equal rights, it is about the undoing of gender norms. To achieve this, existing norms and structures must be made visible in the first plice, but this does not always happen without resistance. BFW would like to support and accelerate these efforts.
Women’s Mentoring in Forestry
The research project, a cooperation between the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, and BFW, investigates how women in forestry in Austria can be strengthened in a traditionally male-dominated sector. The project runs a pilot study with 15 women who work together with 15 high-ranking representatives of the forestry sector in a mentor-mentee relationship for one year. Within the program, participants gain knowledge about the informal and implicit rules of the forestry sector in Austria, they are introduced to existing networks and provided with practical tips for achieving professional goals.
Mentees can learn from the experiences, successes and failures of their mentors. The exchange strengthens both sides and gives new impulses for both mentees and mentors.
More information on the project can be found here (in German).
Forests in Women’s Hands
The first international conference on gender in forestry Forests in Women’s Hands took place online from 12 – 13 April 2021. The conference aimed to promote international networking and exchange of experience among women in forestry, and to increase the visibility of women and their achievements in the forest sector.
Forests in Women’s Hands was supported by the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism and organised together with Forstfrauen (Women in Forestry Association), the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA).
More informationen on Forests in Women’s Hands can be found here.
BFW has developed an ambitious equal opportunity plan, which you can access here.