Tilhill and Digital Diversity

Tilhill, the UK’s leading forestry, harvesting and landscaping company, has partnered with ‘Digital Women’, a community set up to empower one million women through digital skills, in association with NatWest Business. The partnership was set up through the Tilhill marketing team to explore potential opportunities available to encourage more women to consider a career in forestry.

The partnership will launch at the Digital Women Awards, an award show in London that celebrates the incredible work that women are doing in the digital environment across multiple industries, on the 9th March following International Women’s Day as part of the ‘Each for Equal’ theme. For every award show ticket purchased Tilhill will plant a tree to add to their current community planting locations.

Sarah Clay Head of Marketing and Communications for Tilhill said:

“We very much welcome this fresh new partnership that has allowed us to reach outside the forest industry to give us the opportunity to promote our message of encouragement in welcoming more women in roles such as Forest Managers.

Whilst entries from women for our vacancies and graduate programme are steadily increasing, we still have work to do both as a Marketing team and an industry overall to actively recruit more women and encourage diversity.”

Tilhill has already seen a rise in the number of women into the Company from one female new start five years ago compared to the latest figure of twelve new starts. We will be looking for a further increase in our 2020 figures this year.”

The industry has already seen a strong focus on women in forestry with the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) campaign #ILookLikeAForester for the International Women’s day ‘Balance for Better’ theme which aimed to celebrate the diverse experiences of arboriculturists and foresters of all sexes.

The industry body for forestry; Confor (Confederation of Forest Industries) published a report on Gender and Diversity in Forestry in 2016 which introduced our industry as having a ‘pale, male and stale’ profile because of the lack of diversity of the participants.

Dr Eleanor Harris, Policy Researcher at Confor commented following the 2016 report: “In the four years I have worked in forestry I have seen the industry grow significantly, and many of the new recruits are women whose fresh perspective is clearly valued. Women who ‘lean in’ find opportunities to be ‘drawn in’, to be influencers and leaders. Confor takes opportunities to do this, for example, in its member magazine, at events and on conference platforms.”

The report offers an interview-based insight into both men and women with a focus on ‘inspiring children’ as a solution to encouraging diversity. It is an insight with which Tilhill wholly agrees.

Georgina Thomas Assistant Marketing Manager at Tilhill said: “We are focusing more on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in Primary and Secondary Schools through our workshops and visits to get more young children thinking about forestry careers early on. This will in turn encourage a wider range of future foresters into these roles.”

Lucy Hall Founder of Digital Women said: “We are thrilled to partner with Tilhill, a company dedicated to woodland creation. The partnership brings with it a fantastic opportunity to shine the light on careers in forestry for women and also, by purchasing a ticket, Digital Women from all over the country can contribute towards our climate change commitments at the same time. A win for women and a win for our environment.”

Tilhill will also be part of the Digital Women Conference March 20th with NatWest Business to raise their profile in the world of digital and encourage the promotion of tree planting and forestry careers to a wider audience.