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From macho to modern: Gender equality in forestry workplaces

Published: 19 January 2014

This project aims to find, test, and develop practical approaches to gender in forestry work organizations in close cooperation between researchers from Luleå University of Technology, Sveaskog and Skogstekniska klustret.

Project manager Luleå University of Technology

Financier VINNOVA

Time period 1 Oct 2013 - 31 Aug 2015

The project aims to find, test, and develop practical approaches to gender in forestry work organizations in close cooperation between gender researchers at Luleå University of Technology and two of forestry organizations: Sveaskog and Skogstekniska klustret.

The project will follow and learn from on-going organisational gender equality ambitions and interventions at Sveaskog and a Skogstekniska klustret. It will be explored how gender theories can be used to better understand and communicate what mechanisms in the organisational structures, workplace cultures and constructions of gender that restore and/or challenge the old gender homogeneous traditions and gender inequality in forestry.

There is an outspoken need for increased gender equality in forestry organisations and also a self-critical sense of pace of change being too slow, among forestry companies, forestry higher education and public authorities on national and regional level (DS 1991:31; DS 2004:39). Even if the number of women is rising, still the forestry sector is male dominated (84 % men in workforce) and symbolically labelled masculine.

The forestry actors point out that there is a need of sector-based research on gender, leadership and work organisation in forestry organisations. In particular, participatory research is called for where knowledge is developed jointly by researchers and participants.

The companies involved in this project, Sveaskog (a state owned company) and Skogstekniska klustret (a cluster of of 10 forestry machinery and direct-supply component manufacturers) stress that it is important to research the workplace level regarding gendered structures, processes and interactions. These companies have worked with gender equality interventions for several years (in different ways, with different experiences) and are now eager to take their efforts a step further with support from gender scientists.

 

Contact

Lena Abrahamsson, Professor at Luleå University of Technology

Malin Lindberg, Professor at Luleå University of Technology

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