Moving diversity, inclusion and equity forward in the forest sector

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When a forest is at a stage in its renewal where it no longer requires human intervention, we say it’s ‘free to grow.’

It’s that point of transition where meaningful change has taken root and transformation is inevitable. This is also where the forestry sector’s diversity, inclusion and equity initiative – Free to Grow – gets its name. 

Free to Grow in Forestry brings organizations and institutions together with a single vision that Canada has a diverse and inclusive work force that provides the foundation for a thriving forest sector and healthy communities. Launched in 2021, this campaign is part of the Gender Equity in Canada’s Forest Sector National Action Plan initiative, the first public-private partnership project on gender equity in the forest sector. 

Beyond its importance to our employees and the communities in which we operate, creating equity in our sector can have important economic benefits.

Research has found that organizations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to exceed or meet financial targets, and are more likely to be high performing, innovative and agile. In short, inclusion supports better business outcomes.

As previously reported on this blog, the diversity of Canada’s forests is key to its resilience as an ecosystem. Forestry work can also benefit from diversity, but we need to do better. One way forward is by listening. The initiative’s podcast features interviews with experts and individuals sharing their stories on inclusion and diversity.

The forest sector directly employs more than 200,000 people in Canada, but less than 17% are women, 9% are visible minorities and 7% are Indigenous. This is a sector primed for growth in which there exists a huge opportunity to transform the workforce.

Change starts at all levels, and at Resolute, we look to the working committee we formed in 2022 to guide our diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) projects and initiatives. Composed of employees from all business segments as well as our corporate office, its members act as ambassadors throughout the company.

Source: The Resolute Blog