Case study: Sasha Laing MICFor

The Institute’s Marketing Manager, Hester McQueen, interviewed Sasha Laing MICFor 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 >>

Sasha Laing MICFor, Regulations & Development Manager, Forestry Commission Scotland

What do you love most about your job?

I love the variety and flexibility as no two days are the same. I also get to work with a range of people from communities to government bodies. For example, one day I could be presenting to a community group interested in owning or managing their local woodland; the next I could be representing my organisation at key agency meetings with other stakeholders, such as SNH, HES and SEPA.

Why choose forestry?

Because I was incredibly fortunate to build a career around a hobby I had previously paid money to do. Forestry gives me the opportunity to work as much outdoors as indoors; in the public, private and third sectors; and in both technical and non-technical fields.

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

Promotion and visibility are key: promoting the benefits of how ICF membership can support and guide you, and increasing awareness, flexibility and inclusivity of the profession as a career option.

How can we support women in arboriculture and forestry?

We could have ‘champions’ and ‘mentors’, and create promotional materials for events but also for schools and higher education establishments. We could look to career fairs to reach new audiences and be more active at STEM events aimed at late primary upwards.


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