Green Dream intern creates space for women in forestry

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Aurelia Jas, one of the winners of the Green Dream Internship Program, works at Weyerhaeuser in Grande Prairie and proves that there are many opportunities for women in forestry.

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Jas, a fourth year forestry student at Lakehead University, moved to Grande Prairie from Thunder Bay, Ontario. work at Weyerhaeuser as a forestry intern.

She took the plunge after being selected as one of the Forest Products Association of Canada’s (FPAC) Green Dream internship recipients.

“I want to encourage other women to pursue jobs and careers in a male dominated industry,” Jas said, adding “There is something about proving people wrong and showing them that I am much more capable than they thought. “

Jas became one of the internship program winners because of her desire to work in a field where there are traditionally not many women, and also because her life has taken a major turn from artist to worker. forestry.

Jas, who also has a BFA and is a professionally trained sculptor, tried for years to break into Toronto’s art scene before changing.

“All that hungry artist stuff wasn’t really working for me,” said Jas, who felt the urge to work outside instead.

“The idea of ​​being a forester just excited me,” Jas said.

FPAC President and CEO Derek Nygiène believes there are many opportunities in forestry for women.

“Women are only less than 20% of our workforce, and we have a real opportunity to increase that number,” said Nminster, who added that Jas’s story was very compelling because of his decision to change. careers.

Although the forestry industry has traditionally been a male-dominated workplace, companies are always on the lookout for talent, and women like Jas are likely to play a major role in their future.

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“Historically, there have been fewer women in this field, fewer female loggers, fewer female foresters, this is changing quickly and certainly changing within our company,” said Karl Wirsing, Director communications at Weyerhaeuser.

Jas is one of 15 students who won the Green Dream internship competition. Each year, the APFC selects students for a wide variety of internships, covering many types of jobs at their member companies.

“The biggest motivation for us is allowing young people to see themselves in a potential career in forestry and, and I think, people to understand what jobs are available or what might be possible,” said Neighbor.

“I have the impression that forestry is moving towards a more positive environment where women are encouraged to do these kinds of jobs,” said Jas. “So I definitely have hope for the future.”


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