Women encouraged to apply for hi-tech conservation opportunities

 Women encouraged to apply for hi-tech conservation opportunities

Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) is getting behind a Scottish Government drive to attract more women into the technology and science sectors.

The move, which offers four hi-tech and science based placements, is part of a national effort to address the gender imbalance in the workplace, and will also boost the career prospects for the four successful applicants.

Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing said:

“People with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills are increasingly in demand amongst a wide range of employers.

“Forestry is no different. Modern forestry is a hi-tech industry that offers fantastic opportunities to develop skills in a number of challenging technical roles.

“However, only around 25 per cent of STEM jobs are filled by women, so there is clearly a latent pool of technical talent, creative thinking and new perspectives that could be tapped to help Scotland stay at the forefront of innovation.”

The three-month placements will see three successful candidates work on data science projects with FES’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS) team, which uses state-of-the-art technology to support forestry and land management operations across the country.

A fourth successful candidate will work with the lead ecologist in FES supporting high profile species conservation work.
Jo Ellis, interim Head of Land Management with Forest Enterprise Scotland said:

“Our highly skilled GIS team supports operations, planning, environment and engineering teams right across Scotland.

“It’s a superb chance for students wishing to further their opportunities in the science and technology sector. Our environment team undertakes conservation work on a large scale across Scotland delivering priority actions to protect and enhance biodiversity on the national forest estate.  

“As an employer, we are keen to encourage more women to see forestry as a rewarding career with progression opportunities right to the top.”

Forest Enterprise Scotland employs around 850 staff across Scotland, with around a third being female.

The student placements are based in Edinburgh and Inverness and run from June to August 2019. Forest Enterprise Scotland is working with Equate Scotland, which is the national expert in gender equality through the STEM sectors.