A-5/02 A heros journey – young women among males in forestry education
Journal of Rural Studies. 18 (2002) 293-306. In Norway women are grossly under-represented in all sectors of forestry industry, and recruiting women has been difficult. Are gender attitudes a barrier to recruitment? In this article the question is scrutinised in relation to young women and practical forestry. The article is based on in-depth interviews with 12 girls and 11 boys who attended comprehensive school courses in forestry in 1998/1999. The female students did not necessarily plan to work in practical forestry. The girls' participation in the setting of forestry education has some characteristics which are best captured in the metaphor of the hero's journey: a travel in foreign country, a road of trials, some helpers, and a return as a stronger, wiser and more self-confident person. This article argues that gender attitudes were not a barrier to the girls' recruitment to a career in practical forestry work in the future.