Equalitree: Forestry Training for Women

Misson Statement: To empower women of all ages through practical training to compete on equal terms in generally male-dominated industries

The forestry industry is largely inaccessible to women for many reasons; however, Forestry Training for Women will remedy that. Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] is not made in small enough sizes, both foot-wear and clothes to fit many women. Training for using forestry kit, in particular chainsaws, is taught in such a way as to emphasize physical strength when in fact using the “right” technique can get over most issues.  If funded, this course will provide an environment to practice these techniques in private with other female participants. Students would learn to service and sharpen saws and hand tools together with all aspects of woodland and forestry skills and work.  This would empower students to compete on equal terms in the job market with their male counterparts. Students will also be taught about tree identification, the various uses they serve in the landscape and small sawmill operation.

The photograph above shows the various tools used in forestry and the difference between men and womens sized boots.

Digger driving is another aspect of forestry that is seen as a male dominated job. Lighter women sometimes cannot use digger cabs, levers and pedals effectively. A second component of this course would address the use of a Digger and provide women with the training needed to operate one comfortably. This course will teach women to service and care for their machine, how to operate it and provide a few simple adaptations to overcome the male oriented aspects of the machine. The course will cover and practice the most common requirements such as trench digging and ditching along with a range of different scenarios that might be encountered on a daily level.

There are few opportunities for women to compete and train on an equal level to men. We aim to address this by offering training and real life practice in a safe and all encompassing environment where women would feel comfortable to learn. The funding would allow us to purchase a second hand digger for training purposes, saws and PPE for participants.

It is important to note that instructors will be male and while this course is aimed at women students, male participants are encouraged to join if interested.

A forestry winch attached to a tractor. This allows for safer removal of large trees and debris, lowering the risk of injury.