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women in forestry, affirmative action, fairness

kat kats at prcn.org
Wed Aug 26 01:36:36 EST 1998

here in bc, canada a good percentage (definitely more than 10 but less than
40) of forestry grads are women.  i think women here have finally realized
'the great outdoors' is accessible to them as well as to men (for something
other than recreational purposes).  unfortunately they don't all realize
that there are no hiking trails in the real world !!!  i believe that is the
fault of our educators for not painting a true picture (glamorous, my ass!)

i have worked many different forestry jobs; from tree planting (up to 40%
women) to silviculture surveying (30%) to consulting (5%).  i have found
that the more education and professional status you have or attain, the more
office time you see.  i know that i personally spend far more time in the
office now than i would like to.

i also know that i have dealt with some real winners (wieners?) at the BC
Forest Circus (no sexual bias here - both sexes have been awarded the
title).  it is true, there are more women working for the government than
for industry.  industry is still for the most part being controlled by the
good ole boys.  and it is definitely easier to get a job at the forest
service as their screening process involves finding out when and where you
graduated from and that is it.  they do not ask for field experience as
there is really none needed to fulfill the positions they offer.  i see
their trucks driving up and down the highways and wonder if they have ever
used four wheel drive.

i have worked with some wonderful women in forestry.  i have also worked
with a lot of whiny little b......s who don't like to get dirty or wet or
cold or could give two shits if they get the job done.  i have also worked
with men who lie about how much ground they cover and how much data they
collect, etc.  (therefore i have to go back at MY expense and do the job

i definitely feel for the guys who lose out on a job to a woman if the guy
is better qualified.  but if the woman is better qualified, why shouldn't
she get the job?  maybe there should be a coin toss *smile*.   maybe those
that are doing the hiring should be a little more specific - if they want
more office work than bush work, i bet most women grads would be into that.
and vice versa for the guys.

good thing we are all different - i am a woman who prefers the bush and i
wouldn't want a government job.  most guys that prefer the bush wouldn't
want one either.

field vs. paper pushing - the balance just doesn't seem to be there.


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