Mainebiz reports on Crandall’s study of women in forestry

Mainebiz reported on a study of SWIFT (Supporting Women in Forestry Today) co-authored by Mindy Crandall, a former University of Maine assistant professor of forest landscape management. The study found that just 8% of licensed foresters in Maine, or 52 of 680, are women, despite efforts to increase that ratio. In 2016, a group of female UMaine faculty and students created SWIFT to increase and retain the number of women in forestry, from education to employment. Crandall found that women encountered an unwelcoming climate, the perception that forestry is a “male” profession, a lack of a sense of belonging, and a perceived dearth of opportunities, Mainebiz reported. But respondents in a survey of women in SWIFT reported that the organization helped them feel more aware, connected, confident and equipped to recognize and respond to bias and discrimination. The study provided evidence that small-scale groups like SWIFT can spur positive changes for women in forestry, said Crandall, who is now an assistant professor at Oregon State University.