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Post: She Is Forestry SA release inspirational videos in celebration of Women’s Month

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She Is Forestry SA release inspirational videos in celebration of Women’s Month

She Is Forestry SA: celebrating female forestry role models this Women’s Month

With high levels of girls dropping out of school before matric, the need for relatable female role models has never been as important.

PRETORIA – 4 August 2023 – In celebration of Women’s Month, She Is Forestry SA has commissioned the first four videos in a series aimed at helping to inspire the next generation of girls to stay in school and consider forestry as a career.

She Is Forestry SA, a non-profit forestry organisation promoting and uplifting women across the Sector, launched the first videos at their annual Women in Forestry Webinar, held on 3 August 2023. Their aim is to produce a whole series of videos showcasing all the potential forestry careers found within Forestry and the Forest Product Value Chain.

People still have a 1970s view of forestry, that it is a male-only career path. This simply is not true. We have women working in every single conceivable role within the Sector, from operating heavy machinery to conducting world class research, women populate our HR, communication, finance and marketing positions, they manage plantations and nurseries, mills and lumber yards. Women own forestry businesses, contractor operations and small forestry related enterprises. In short, there is a wealth of forestry opportunities just waiting to be explored.”, explains Executive Director of the Forest Sector Charter Council, Makhosazana Mavimbela.

Each video follows a single woman as she discusses her role within the Sector and the career path she followed. She also explains some of the challenges she has faced along the way and how she circumvented these.

The beauty of the videos is that high school learners watching them will be able to relate to the women they see on the screen. They are women who have come from rural communities and had to work hard and overcome obstacles to get where they are today. They are testament to what belief, determination and discipline can deliver, making them powerful role models for future generations to aspire to”, explains Forestry South Africa’s Communication Consultant Katy Johnson who was involved in the commissioning and production of the videos.

The videos came from a request made by several of the principals from the schools She Is Forestry SA support, who were experiencing high dropout rates amongst female learners. They felt careers advice about the potential avenues open to women and positive role models already living these careers may help the girls see the array of potential paths open to them and help decrease the numbers dropping out.

While a career day at each school was an option, it would not have been sustainable and would therefore have a limited reach. Thus, it was decided to commission videos, that will be hosted on She Is Forestry SA’s YouTube channel @SheIsForestrySA and made publicly available. That way, any school, organisation, individual or group could access them and be inspired by the exceptional women and abundant career avenues found within the forestry sector.

While these first four videos focus on quite obvious forestry careers – forester, nursery manager, forestry researcher and forestry contractor – we plan on commissioning many more videos to cover all the potential forestry career avenues, from environmental auditing to accounts, pulp processing to wood science and beyond. While this is a forestry initiative, She Is Forestry SA Directors include government officials who will be taking this to their colleagues in Education and suggesting this could be an initiative rolled out across other sectors. We believe Forestry should be a trail blazer for something bigger, a multi-Sector initiative to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subject to women and girls across the country by using real and relatable female role models”, Katy concludes.

Source: Forestry South Africa

 

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She Is Forestry SA release inspirational videos in celebration of Women’s Month

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