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Hundreds Join Women’s Forest Congress Celebration of International Women’s Day

Inspire, Empower, and Build Relationships

WASHINGTON, D.C. — To mark and recognize International Women's Day 2021, hundreds of participants, including representatives from the private sector, academia, government, conservation organizations, landowners, and many more, came together for a virtual event to inspire, empower, and build relationships as part of a celebration organized by the Women’s Forest Congress (WFC). More than 620 registrants offered a broad geographical representation both domestically and internationally. Kathryn Fernholz, President and CEO of Dovetail Partners is a member of the steering committee for the Women’s Forest Congress.

The theme of International Women’s Day this year is “Choose to Challenge.” We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world, and the Women’s Forest Congress is doing its part to change the way we view and approach forests and forestry.

Attendees came together to learn about the Women's Forest Congress's recent efforts and what is ahead, to be inspired by the work and leadership of women in natural resources, and to learn how we can support each other on International Women’s Day and every day. The event was facilitated by Dr. Antomia Farrell, Assistant Dean for Diversity at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, calling out the importance of mentorship to women in the forestry field.

Paola Deda, the Director of the Forest, Land and Housing Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), drew attention to the underrepresentation of women in forestry but offered an optimistic longer-term outlook and cited a recent Swedish study of forest ownership. “These women see forests for what they are — not a bunch of trees that can be taken down and used to generate profit, but as part of a larger ecosystem that is worth much more to us and future generations when it thrives," Deda said.

“This gathering was a beautiful reminder that the work and vision of the Women’s Forest Congress is reflected globally, and that there is great importance in our shared connections that should be celebrated on International Women’s Day,” Fernholz shared.

The inaugural in-person meeting of the Women’s Forest Congress will likely be held in 2022, with virtual planning and engagement events like this being planned in the meantime. The Steering Committee wants your perspective, ideas, and guidance to ensure the Congress is a success. Learn more or email us, and join the conversation at Twitter (@WomensForestCng), Facebook (@womensforestcongress), and LinkedIn (@womens forest congress).


 About Dovetail Partners

Dovetail is a highly skilled team that fosters sustainability and responsible behaviors through collaboration to develop unique concepts, systems, models, and programs. Dovetail excels at solving complex problems and helping responsible organizations succeed. We also help define programs that increase the job creation and the job quality of resource-based industries. Dovetail Partners is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Learn more: www.dovetailinc.org

About the Women’s Forest Congress

The Women’s Forest Congress is a forum to develop strategies and solutions for forests through a female lens. Women throughout the forest community have come together to share personal and professional experiences, connect with other women in the community, shape the latest innovations, and consider how actions informed by the female perspective can make a profound impact on the future of forests. Forests play an intrinsic role in our lives. Forest products touch us at all stages of life and are increasingly emphasized as a central tenet of a responsible, sustainable future. Forestry is essential to us all, yet the sector has less than 20% participation by women and even less by people of color. Learn more and get in touch — we want to hear from you.


Ashley McFarland
Executive Director, Dovetail Partners
(208) 215-0407

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