This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.

Today, VAST Resource Solutions Inc. recognizes and celebrates International Women’s Day by introducing you to one of these women—Erin Woodland, Registered Professional Forester and Engineer in Training with 20 years of experience in the forestry sector.

Woodland joined VAST’s team in May 2021. Her role involves a broad range of resource engineering projects in the forestry, environmental, mining, and development sectors.

“I’ve had a diverse career that’s taken me all over Canada,” said Woodland. “I grew up in the Okanagan and was fortunate in high school to take a forestry program that gave me real-world experience. I knew right away that I loved the industry, and it was for me. I obtained my Forest Technology Diploma at Selkirk College in Castlegar; from there, I went to the University of New Brunswick, where I spent four amazing years in the Maritimes earning my BSc in Forest Engineering.”

After university, Woodland worked as a Silviculture Forester. She was then hired as a logging foreman to run a crew in Northern Ontario, which was a job she had always wanted.

“Although you are seeing more women take on leadership roles in forestry, it’s traditionally been a male-dominated industry, especially when I first started my career,” said Woodland. “There were obstacles, but running a crew was mostly a very positive experience and I think my guys came to appreciate that I brought a different but equally valuable set of skills to the table. I still stay in touch with them, and I got more from the experience than I expected.”

It’s important to Woodland that the next generation of forest professionals see women making an impact in leadership positions in the forest sector, which is why she volunteers as a mentor with Project Learning Tree Canada, a program connecting youth (ages 18-30) with Green Jobs professionals.

“There are so many opportunities in forestry today and into the future. It is important for myself and others to mentor to spread awareness of the diversity, and encourage the next generation to take their place in the industry,” she said.

VAST female colleagues bring a perspective and approach to VAST that enriches the creativity and insight of projects, and we acknowledge the significant contributions women have made throughout history to advancing science.

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