The forest sector slowly moving towards gender equality

Stakeholders in the forest sector gathered in Umeå, Sweden, October 23 for a kick-off for a more gender balanced forest sector.

Lecturer Post on sexism with lecturer in front. Photo.Swedish authorities, forest industry, universities and research institutions all gathered in Umeå to participate in a conference named “From #metoo to action”. The purpose was to take the #metoo movement one step further, not only talk about gender equality but to act for it.

Mark out the obvious

The first speaker of the day was Jesper Fundberg (photo), masculinity researcher and management consultant. He talked with great knowledge and understanding about masculinity and how what we take for granted gives men strong and effective power. The ultimate privilege for men is that they are taken for granted. But something happens when they are gendered – that is a way to make it obvious that men is in a special, powerful position compared to women.

Jesper Fundberg strongly advised us to act, not educate, research or talk any more.

– We know all we need to know! It’s time to go to action.

His best tips was to use men, to use the gender imbalance itself, to make things happen:

– Men will listen to men.

The genus photographer

We also had the privilege to listen to Tomas Gunnarsson, the genus photographer. He analyzed photos and talked about how women are usually showed in photos compared to men. He also gave some very useful tips about how to, very concrete, act for equality when publishing photos.

– Include, but don’t emphasize, was his best conclusion.

That means that we should publish photos that show both women and men, people with different ethnicities, ages, religion and sexual orientation. But we shouldn’t mark them out, just let different people habit the photos as the natural parts of our reality that they actually are. Let them be part of surroundings, be placed in situations, without any further notice. It is important that the actual facts of our reality, becomes part of our photos, because that offers us models and shows what is possible. It can also challenge some perceptions that we might have about our world that isn’t true – as the one about men being more suitable for being managers.

Concrete training

The afternoon was used for a workshop. The purpose was to give the participants instruments to use in their daily life to change the subordination of women. Melinda From from Whitebox talked about criticism of our standards, all that we never think about but takes for granted. When we see and dare to question our standards, we have a strong force for innovation.

The participants used a couple of hours to train their ability to be innovative and to get our eyes on our standards.


You can do something!

If you want help and advice in how to make a change for a more gender balanced society, have a look at the website’s

Do you know someone interested?

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