New federal investment will help boost number of women in Canada’s forestry sector

News release

Project will help women access good middle class jobs by creating more inclusive workplaces 

November 29, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Status of Women Canada 

The Government is committed to advancing gender equality and understands the important role that creating more opportunities for women in all aspects of Canadian life can play in promoting women’s empowerment. By investing in projects that improve women’s economic security, we are helping to ensure that women, their families and communities can prosper. 

Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Status of Women, today announced on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, Government of Canada funding for a project that will increase women’s economic security in Ontario and across Canada.  

The Canadian Institute of Forestry will receive $467,000 for a 36-month project entitled “Gender Equality in Forestry National Action Plan” that will work to remove the barriers that prevent or discourage women from pursuing rewarding middle class jobs and careers in the forestry industry. These obstacles include pay equity issues and child care, unequal access to training and trades, lack of management opportunities and misconceptions about the sector in general. 

Women are underrepresented at all levels within the forestry sector. The project will bring women already working in different areas in the forestry sector together with industry stakeholders, NGOs, Indigenous groups, professional associations and women who are interested in working in the sector, and will develop and implement a strategic national plan to promote more opportunities for women in forestry. 

Last week the Government of Canada introduced the 2018 Fall Economic Statement. It includes a number of proposals to grow the economy by investing in good quality middle class jobs. This includes providing a further $800 million over five years in the Strategic Innovation Fund to support innovation across the country in all economic sectors. Of this amount: $100 million will focus on providing support to the forestry sector.


“Our government knows that when we invest in women, we strengthen the economy for everyone, and that’s why these projects are so important: they are creating the right conditions for women to thrive in their careers – and their lives. By funding organizations like the Canadian Institute of Forestry that work to eliminate the barriers holding women back, we are ensuring that all Canadians – regardless of gender – have a real and fair chance at success.” 

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

“The Canadian Institute of Forestry has a long and proven track record for supporting and growing Canada’s forestry sector through research excellence and collaborative partnerships. Today, they are again leading the way and breaking new ground with the launch of an action plan to recruit, retain and advance more women so that we can ensure that women have equal access to the rewarding middle class jobs in the industry. Our government is pleased to support this important work.” 

Terry Duguid
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Status of Women
Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South

“We are very pleased to receive the support of the federal government to help us remove barriers for women who want to work in the forestry industry. Developing a plan through Gender-based Analysis Plus will help create a workplace that encourages more women to pursue employment in forestry and our bioeconomy, where STEM expertise is in heavy demand.”

Dana Collins
Executive Director, Canadian Institute of Forestry

Quick facts

  • Women have low representation in the skilled trades and other traditionally male-dominated professions. For example, in 2016, of those who worked in the forestry sector labour force, 83% were male, and only 17% were female. This ratio is similar to other natural resource sub-sectors.

  • McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by taking steps to advance equality for women—such as employing more women in technology and boosting women’s participation in the workforce—Canada could add $150 billion to its economy by 2026.

  • Women continue to be disproportionately affected by economic insecurity. In 2015, women in Canada earned just 87 cents for every dollar earned by men. They are also much more likely to work on a part-time basis, making up 76% of all part-time workers, with 25% of women reporting child care responsibilities as their reason for working part-time.

  • Economic security is composed of basic social security, defined by access to basic needs such as health, education and housing.   

  • In October 2017, Status of Women Canada invited organizations to propose projects that support women’s economic security across Canada by addressing some of the root causes of inequality, including barriers such as access to childcare, unequal pay and the gender wage gap. Through calls for proposals, entitled Support for Women’s Economic Security and Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women, more than 45 projects have been approved for a total of $15 million in funding. These projects will unfold over a period of three years, and funding builds on our ongoing efforts to support women’s economic empowerment and advance gender equality for all Canadians.

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Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Valérie Haché
Communications Officer
Status of Women Canada

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