Case study: Jenny Wilson

Jenny Wilson

The Institute’s Marketing Manager, Hester McQueen, interviewed Jenny Wilson for 2019 International Women’s Day to highlight women excelling in our profession. Help us encourage people to join our profession and make it more diverse by joining the #ILookLikeAForester campaign. Find out how you can get involved >>

Jenny Wilson, Technical Recreation Advisor, Forestry Commission England

What do you love most about your job?

I love that it doesn’t feel depressing on a Sunday evening to think about going back to work on Monday. I’m lucky enough to have a job that’s varied, interesting and challenging with no two weeks being the same. I get to collaborate and work with colleagues who are real experts in their field, whether that be in managing recreation facilities on the public forest estate or foresters who design and care for the nation’s woodlands.

Why choose forestry?

I’ll readily admit that I didn’t know anything about forestry at school and certainly didn’t know anyone working in the industry, as a result I sort of fell into forestry by accident! I was searching for a career that had long term positive impact and that my energy and effort would go into something that lasted beyond my lifetime and helped drive improvements in sustainability. Turns out forestry fitted the bill exactly!

I’ll happily say that I fell into forestry by accident, but I’ve stayed in the sector deliberately because it gives me the deeper job satisfaction that I’ve always been looking for.

How can ICF support women in forestry and arboriculture?

ICF can support women in forestry by providing role models for younger women thinking about joining the profession. It could link and match women at different stages of their career to others who could provide ongoing mentoring and support.

What can professional organisations like the ICF do to attract a more diverse workforce?

ICF needs to act as a force for positive change to drive diversity and sell the benefits of working in the sector to everyone. It needs to proactively work with organisations that make up its membership to encourage them to do the same and hold them to account when they don’t.

It must also keep up the great work it does already on driving forwards and maintaining high professional standards so that when members become Chartered it’s recognised that they are a true professional in the industry, no matter what their background, age or gender is.



Women across the profession will be posting images on social media of themselves on International Women’s Day to illustrate their work and the inspiring role they play. Follow the conversation #ILookLikeAForester