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International Women’s Day 2022




International Women’s Day takes place on 8 March every year.

We are working to increase diversity of our membership. Women are still underrepresented in our sector and we need to ensure that people from all genders and backgrounds consider forestry and arboriculture as a career that is open to them.


Over the next five years, we want to increase our female membership to 20%

This year, we have some exciting content to share with you to celebrate the women around the world working with trees.

Becky Hemsley is a writer based in England whose poetry is inspired by humanity and nature. We are delighted to share Becky’s poem ‘Breathe’ for International Women’s Day 2022.



she sat at the back
and they said she was shy
she led from the front
and they hated her pride
they asked her advice
and then questioned her guidance
they branded her loud
then were shocked by her silence
when she shared no ambition
they said it was sad
so she told them her dreams
and they said she was mad
they told her they’d listen
then covered their ears
and gave her a hug
while they laughed at her fears
and she listened to all of it
thinking she should
be the girl they told her to be
best as she could
but one day she asked
what was best for herself
instead of trying
to please everyone else
so she walked to the forest
and stood with the trees
she heard the wind whisper
and dance with the leaves
and she spoke to the willow,
the elm and the pine
and she told them what she’d been told
time after time
she told them she never
felt nearly enough
she was either too little
or far, far too much
too loud or too quiet
too fierce or too weak
too wise or too foolish
too bold or too meek
then she found a small clearing
surrounded by firs
and she stopped and she heard
what the trees said to her
and she sat there for hours
not wanting to leave
for the forest said nothing…
it just let her breathe
Poem by Becky Hemsley at Talking to the Wild

Find Becky on:


Our #ILookLikeAForester campaign was created to celebrate all women working in arboriculture and forestry.

To all our female members, please get involved in the conversation by tagging us on social media @TheICF in your videos, photos and posts using the #ILookLikeAForester hashtag. And to our male colleagues please help promote on your social media platforms too.

Let us know…

  • what you love about working with trees
  • why more women should consider it as a career

As part of our new #NurtureGrowThrive campaign, we caught up our Associate member, Olivia FitzGerald, to find out why she changed from a career in teaching to a job working with trees as a Social Scientist at Forest Research. Watch the full video below.

What we did in 2021

We spoke to some of the women working in arboriculture and forestry in the UK and overseas. Watch the videos below to meet them!

A message from our Executive Director, Shireen Chambers MBE FICFor:

Dr Helen McKay OBE FICFor CEnv
Lacey Rose RPF
Theri Reichlin
Jessica Kaknevicius
Sharon Durdant-Hollamby FICFor
Mette Wilkie MICFor
Amelia Williams MICFor

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