Pioneering Gender Equality and Diversity in Forestry

Jul 3, 2024

In a significant step towards promoting gender equality and diversity in forestry-related sectors, Dr. Ida Wallin presented a pioneering Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at a side event hosted by the SNS booth during the World Congress. The course, titled “Gender Equality and Diversity in Forestry Related Sectors,” aims to bridge the educational gap in gender equality, diversity, and inclusion within the global forestry community.

Dr. Wallin, one of the initiators of the MOOC, described it as a foundational course designed to educate individuals about crucial concepts related to gender equality, diversity, and inclusion, not only as a matter of fairness but also as a means to enhance the sector’s overall effectiveness and sustainability.

“It’s a basic introductory course about gender equality, diversity, and inclusion in the forest-related sectors. It’s a part of the Youth for Task Force on Gender Equality in Forestry and a way to learn about these issues across the whole world,” Dr. Wallin explained.

The MOOC, hosted on the FutureLearn platform, leverages global case studies to provide a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities in promoting gender equality in forestry. “We have cases from all countries, aiming to close the educational gap when it comes to gender equality, diversity, and inclusion,” Dr. Wallin noted. She emphasized the course’s accessibility, stating that it offers a unique opportunity for students, professionals, and companies to learn about these vital topics easily.

Dr. Wallin highlighted the critical need for such a course, given the limited availability of specialized education in this area worldwide. “There are very few forestry faculties across the world that can offer the competence to give education about these areas. This course is a possibility for everyone interested in this topic to learn about it before getting into the workforce,” she said.

The course is structured to provide learners with a deep understanding of the concepts used in gender equality research, the barriers to equality in different regions, and practical tools to promote diversity and inclusion. “If you choose to take it, you will learn a lot about the different concepts that scholars use to understand gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. You will also learn about barriers in different contexts across the world and what kind of barriers there are to gender equality,” Dr. Wallin explained.

One of the key insights from the course is the identification of common patterns and barriers to gender equality across various regions, including Europe, North America, Africa, South America, and Asia. “It’s very interesting to see that our patterns and barriers are similar in all these areas, which means we can also help to understand and hopefully find better solutions,” Dr. Wallin remarked.

The course also equips learners with practical tools to achieve better gender equality and diversity in forestry sectors. “You can learn about the tools for how to achieve better gender equality, diversity, and inclusion,” Dr. Wallin said, underscoring the MOOC’s practical, action-oriented nature.

The MOOC stands as a testament to the growing recognition of these issues within the forestry community and represents a significant step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable industry.

For more information about the course, interested individuals can visit the FutureLearn platform and enroll in “Gender Equality and Diversity in Forestry Related Sectors.”