FORESTRY HAS LONG BEEN a male-dominated field. But women have always been an essential part of the workforce, with more joining the field and rising up through the ranks over the years. They are also helping each other do so. More than 300 women in the field have been convening virtually over the last few years to discuss a variety of topics, such as issues unique to BIPOC women working in forestry. They exchange ideas and stories on social media and share resources and academic research about why more women foresters are needed.

In October, many of them will gather in Minneapolis for the multi-day Women’s Forest Congress, an event led by and for people who identify as women and open to all allies to attend. The event will dive into issues related to equity and inclusion, women as catalysts for change, recruitment and retention of women, and the biggest challenges related to the forest sector. It will be the first time since the first Forest Congress was held in 1882 that women’s perspectives will be front and center.

There are many ways to get involved in this network. You can join one of the four working groups, which focus on planning virtual events and the Minneapolis gathering, promoting the network, engaging stakeholders and creating content. Between working group meetings, you can join the conversation on social media, using #womensforestcongress. Last, but certainly not least, you can come to the Congress this fall. We hope to see you there.