The “Green Couch” is the meeting place of experts from business and politics. For the first time ever, it will be occupied by a group consisting exclusively of women. The “ladies of the forest” will exchange views on their roles and everyday working lives in this male domain on 18 July at 3:00 p.m.

Women decide if and when a tree must be felled – but they are seen only seldom with a chain saw or in the cockpit of a harvester or forwarder. Nevertheless, they are shaping the future of the forests – for example as employees of a forest enterprise, farmers and foresters, forest administration managers, forestry engineers, private forest owners or forestry politicians. On Friday afternoon, the “Green Couch” will belong to five women from the forestry sector who will report on their everyday working lives.

Kirsten Joas (42), Senior Forest Administration Official at the Niederseeon Forestry District, is a consultant for Bavarian private forest owners in matters relating to forest management. Moreover, she performs sovereign tasks and carries out guided tours for school classes. As a mother of two daughters, she appreciates “the mostly entire freedom of work and time management and the high degree of independence” she is granted by the Bavarian Forestry Administration as her employer. Do women have a different view on forestry than men? “Surveys prove that women attach more importance to the concept of sustainability”, she says.

Regina Baumann (30), Forestry Engineer, works as a service point manager at the Bavarian State Forests in Hammelburg. She is responsible for personnel deployment planning and personnel matters; in addition, she procures and coordinates forestry services. At three out of a total of 41 forest enterprises in Bavaria, the service points are managed by women. “I cannot complain about a lack of acceptance by my superior or male colleagues. Certainly, everything is much easier for me today than it was for my female colleagues who had to assert themselves in the forestry sector 20 or 30 years ago”, states Regina Baumann. Practical action in everyday forestry life and the relation to nature and the forest are important to her.

“Carpe diem - Carpe silvam” – this is the motto of Dr. Ruth Dirsch (33), Forestry Engineer. The employee at the Personnel Development Department of the Bavarian State Forests and Equal Opportunities Officer is a mother of three. The focal points of her work lie in knowledge transfer, personnel development and corporate health management. She will use her presence on the “Green Couch” to introduce the classical forestry enterprise as a modern, family-friendly employer who equally offers excellent career opportunities for women.

“We will be able to cope with climate change”. This is the motto of Gabriele Hackner (45), Member of the Eichstätt Forest Enterprise Association. As a passionate farmer and forester, her credo is “forest conversion and regeneration without afforestation”. Her professional work is focused on forest care and logging. She would like to return home from INTERFORST 2014 enriched by suggestions and findings in different areas of forestry. “I look forward to meeting other female and male forest owners and to an informative INTERFORST 2014.” From her viewpoint, forestry careers have long since ceased to be male domains.

Simone Grießer (35) works at the office of the Griesser Forstbetriebs GmbH forestry enterprise where she is in charge of organization and materials procurement. In the shop appertaining to the enterprise, she is responsible for the sale of motor saws, rails and chains. “From my viewpoint, the forestry sector is still a male domain. As a woman you have to work very hard and be immensely competent and skilled to become accepted,” she says. At INTERFORST 2014, she would like to establish new business contacts and catch up on new and innovative products.

And on Sunday 20 July at 10 a.m., Angelika Schorer, Chairwoman of the Agricultural Committee of the Bavarian State Parliament, will present the topic of “Forest and timber – indispensable pillars of the Bavarian economy” on the “Green Couch“. In her work she is committed to ensure “that the forest can be managed without any accidents and in a soil- and eco-friendly manner“. The conservation of nature and its appropriate management is an “issue that is close to her heart”. She looks forward to the large offer of innovative forest technology at INTERFORST 2104 and the talks with fellow professionals in the areas of agriculture and forestry.

The program of the “Green Couch” is shaped by the Bavarian Association of Forest Owners and the Bavarian Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry.

Source: INTERFORST

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