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The “Catch-22” of Representation of Women in the Forest Sector: The Perspective of Student Leaders in Top Global Forestry Universities

LPDP Awardee, Department of Wood Science and Engineering, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
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Forests 2020, 11(4), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040419
Received: 10 March 2020 / Revised: 4 April 2020 / Accepted: 7 April 2020 / Published: 9 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
Although there are continuous efforts aimed at increasing gender diversity, the forest sector is still largely perceived as a male dominated field, indicated by a persistent masculine image. As a result, women are still underrepresented. Utilizing interviews, we found that greater representation of women in the forest sector is considered as one of the best solutions to attract young women to the industry. However, it presents a ‘Catch-22’ in which the solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem. We propose to change the forest sector image by tackling gender issues such as sexual harassment, and by simultaneously focusing on the good features of the industry such as its important role in a sustainable future and solutions for the modern world. For example, the sector can show its role in mitigating climate change and in supporting a more sustainable future economy (e.g., bioeconomy and green jobs) and urban built environment. In addition, changing the forest sector image should be supported with better marketing and promotion in various platforms, both online and offline. The sector also needs to utilize social media to attract younger generations. View Full-Text
Keywords: gender diversity; diversity in higher education; women leaders; college women student leaders; college student leadership; perceived fit; image theory gender diversity; diversity in higher education; women leaders; college women student leaders; college student leadership; perceived fit; image theory
MDPI and ACS Style

Larasatie, P.; Barnett, T.; Hansen, E. The “Catch-22” of Representation of Women in the Forest Sector: The Perspective of Student Leaders in Top Global Forestry Universities. Forests 2020, 11, 419.

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