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Women's Forest Congress Launched; Invites sector-wide participation

Planning summit identifies key topics and opportunities

WASHINGTON, DC – Planning for the inaugural Women’s Forest Congress launched in late-July. More than 65 leaders from the forest sector – including industry, academia, government, conservation organizations, landowners, and more – came together for a two-day virtual planning summit for the Congress. 

The Women’s Forest Congress will develop forest-based strategies and solutions, from a variety of female perspectives, to address today's most pressing challenges, including climate change, social inequality, and the global pandemic. Women in leadership, workforce considerations, and women serving as catalysts for change are among other key topics and opportunities identified. 

Speakers at the summit included: Vicki Christiansen, the 19th Chief of the U.S. Forest Service; Angela Coleman, U.S. Forest Service Acting Associate Chief; Pashon Murray, entrepreneur, environmentalist, and founder of Detroit Dirt; and Gloria Brown, the U.S. Forest Service’s first African-American female forest supervisor.

Focused on the importance of diversity and inclusion by amplifying the voice of women 

The Women’s Forest Congress builds on the rich history of prior forest congresses but takes a different approach – one focused on the importance of diversity and inclusion by amplifying the voice of women to shape the future of our forests. At the Congress, women throughout the forest space will come together to share personal and professional experiences, connect with other women in the sector, shape the latest innovations, and analyze how actions informed by the female perspective can make a profound and lasting impact on the future of forests. 

During the July planning summit, numerous insights were shared, aiding in further development and implementation of the Women’s Forest Congress. Collectively, participants agreed that “there is a need – arguably today more than ever – for diverse perspectives to help ensure the health and future of forests.” 

The idea for the Women’s Forest Congress germinated among women within the sector who believed the lack of diverse, female perspectives is leaving a void in the sector, limiting professional participation by more women, and reducing opportunities to think about forests in new ways. Addressing the gender diversity gap creates room for innovative problem solving to combat the most pressing challenges of the forest sector and the forests to which we are all connected. There is a clear need for a forum developed by women, for women. 

Join the effort to provide all women a space to listen, to be heard, and to act for the benefit of forests The Inaugural Women's Forest Congress will likely be held in 2022, with fundraising, virtual planning, and engagement events being planned in the meantime. The Steering Committee needs your support, perspective, ideas, and guidance to ensure the Congress is a success. 

Kathryn Fernholz, President and CEO of Dovetail Partners is an active member of the steering committee and welcomes your participation. Meet the other Steering Committee members and learn more at www.womensforestcongress.org or email info@womensforestcongress.org. Join the conversation on Twitter (@WomensForestCng), Facebook (@womensforestcongress), and LinkedIn (@womens forest congress). 

Media Contact: 

Elizabeth Woodworth 

Wood & Company Consulting, Steering Committee member 

elizabeth@woodcoconsulting.com 

(202) 957-7171

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