News & Events

Ghana: New study by GTF describes existing gender balance and makes recommendations

The Global Timber Forum (GTF) has published a commissioned analysis of gender in the wood processing sector in Ghana.

The new study reveals that in the wood processing sector women workers are much less visible than their male counterparts yet are involved in multiple areas of the value chain. This involvement ranges from the administration and provision of labour through to acting as financiers of business.

At a country-level, other studies on gender balance have previously shown that Ghana outperforms many regional neighbours in sub-Saharan Africa. For instance, the country ranks 72 out of 144 countries across all criteria in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2017 and has a particularly high score for the criteria of “economic participation and opportunity”.

The study identifies the following key findings:

  • Participation of women exists across all points of the wood processing sector.
  • Roles assigned to men and women in the sector are however defined by the historical and socio-cultural context.
  • Women’s involvement in leadership and governance of wood processing associations is relatively lower than that of men.
  • There is limited understanding and appreciation of the impact of gender imbalances in the sector, even amongst those men and women working in the sector.
  • Actors in the sector lack knowledge of existing laws on women’s rights to engage in, and have a voice in, the sector.

In terms of business opportunity for the wood processing sector, the United Nations Development Programme cited a figure of 95 billion USD as lost to productivity every year through the failure to integrate women into national economies across sub-Saharan Africa.

The study therefore makes a series of recommendations for policy makers as well as for the associations that represent the wood processing sector.

Selected recommendations made in the study:

  • Cultural limitations to women’s agency should be acknowledged and, where necessary, purposive strategies should be followed for example where the aim is to increase women’s engagement in leadership and governance.
  • State agencies should invest in awareness raising about gender and in building capacity of their staff, and of wood processing sector associations’ leadership, in gender and gender analysis.
  • Association leadership should sensitise membership about what gender is about and raise awareness of its relevance to the contributions both female and male members make to the sector.
  • Associations should carry out simple participatory gender analysis of their organisation and members. This will increase understanding of the needs, interests and fears of both men and women engaged in the sector.

 

Learning from success

As part of the study one company was highlighted as having made a number of policy changes to improve the gender balance as well as the types of jobs available to each gender. The Bibiani Logs and Lumber Company Limited, is a family-owned business that has been in operation since the late 1960s. It employs 371 people of which women constitute 100. The Chairperson of the company is a woman.

Both men and women are given equal opportunities for self-development on the job without any discrimination. The company’s policies make it a requirement for both men and women to be trained on all areas of production. As a result, the company has women operating the veneer milling machines.

Recent interviews demonstrate that the steps taken on gender by the leadership of the company has increased awareness and acceptance of opportunities of equal value for men and women in the company.

Study author, Nana Ama Yirrah, said “The study clearly shows an opportunity for the Ghanaian wood processing industry to attain the business benefits of a more diverse workforce. The SME wood processing industry has a wide range of pressing business challenges, but I believe this study shows that some small steps can be taken now to create a more favourable gender environment. For example, this can start with putting in place gender sensitive policies and appropriate sensitisation and training.”

As part of the study one company was highlighted as having made a number of policy changes to improve the gender balance as well as the types of jobs available to each gender. The Bibiani Logs and Lumber Company Limited, is a family-owned business that has been in operation since the late 1960s. It employs 371 people of which women constitute 100. The Chairperson of the company is a woman.

Both men and women are given equal opportunities for self-development on the job without any discrimination. The company’s policies make it a requirement for both men and women to be trained on all areas of production. As a result, the company has women operating the veneer milling machines.

Recent interviews demonstrate that the steps taken on gender by the leadership of the company has increased awareness and acceptance of opportunities of equal value for men and women in the company.

Study author, Nana Ama Yirrah, said “The study clearly shows an opportunity for the Ghanaian wood processing industry to attain the business benefits of a more diverse workforce. The SME wood processing industry has a wide range of pressing business challenges, but I believe this study shows that some small steps can be taken now to create a more favourable gender environment. For example, this can start with putting in place gender sensitive policies and appropriate sensitisation and training.”

 

Notes

  1. The full study can be found here
  2. During 2017 the GTF commissioned Nana Ama Yirrah to undertake an analysis of gender in the forest industries sector in Ghana.
  3. Nana Ama Yirrah is a Land Economist, Development Policy Analyst and Gender Specialist by profession with over 21 years of experience in land and natural resource governance, land policy, women’s land rights and development practice.
  4. Methodology involved interviews with forestry association members and public sector agencies, with fifty-one interviews being held in total, representing fourteen associations and institutions, with ten of the interviewees being women. Research tools were participatory and included application of a simple gender analytical framework combined with story-telling and case studies.
  5. The study has been funded by UK Aid from the UK government, however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/ghana-new-study-gtf-describes-existing-gender-balance-and-makes-recommendations]

Timber Technology Focus for PEFC UK Stakeholder Day | 16 October 2018 | London

This year’s PEFC UK Stakeholder Meeting will be held on 16th October in London. The event theme is innovation and technology in the forest products sector.

The keynote speaker will be Anthony Thistleton, partner at award-winning practice Waugh Thistleton Architects. He will demonstrate how engineered wood products such as CLT and glulam are changing the face of our cities and influencing contemporary architecture. Since designing the first CLT structure in the UK in 2004 and completing the world’s first high rise timber building in London in 2009, Waugh Thistleton have been passionate advocates of engineered timber.  

As the drive continues to embed technical solutions in both the construction and forestry sectors, Robin Askey from Envirosense will also explore the future role that developing technologies such as Blockchain might play in the forest certification sector, where it could have a game-changing effect on chain of custody management and supply chain transparency.

Sponsored by James Latham, SGS, AB Packaging and PEFC International, this event will be relevant to sustainability and procurement professionals trading in wood-based products including retailers, brand owners, contractors and wood products manufacturers. The afternoon will close with a networking and drinks reception.

The event is free to attend but there are a limited number of places available so prompt registration is recommended.

For more information visit: www.pefc.co.uk/events/pefc-annual-stakeholder-meeting-2018

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-technology-focus-pefc-uk-stakeholder-day-16-october-2018-london]

Waugh Thistleton Architects launch '100 Projects UK CLT' book

Waugh Thistleton Architects, in collaboration with the Softwood Lumber Board & Forestry Innovation Investment, have recently launched the book 100 Projects UK CLT.

The one hundred projects featured in the book were selected from over 500 completed CLT projects in the UK.

"Over the last 15 years the UK has experienced a quiet revolution in construction," write the authors. "Since the modest efforts of the first small buildings in the early 2000s a blossoming array of CLT projects has emerged across a range of building types and scales. In 2017, three out of the five buildings nominated for the Stirling Prize, the UK’s top architecture award, were constructed from CLT. Engineered timber buildings are now firmly part of our construction landscape."

"This book presents the case for using engineered timber with one hundred studies encompassing a wide range of scales, styles and types. Also included is a compendium outlining the benefits of CLT along with the considerations for designing and building in this revolutionary material."

"We often refer to human civilisations by the principal materials they employ, such as the Bronze Age, Iron Age etc. In this vein, the 20th century can be very much called the Concrete Age and it seems very likely that the 21st century will be the Timber Age."

A digital version of the book can be downloaded for free on ThinkWood website here.

View the photo gallery of the book's presentation held at The Building Centre here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/waugh-thistleton-architects-launch-100-projects-uk-clt-book]

TRADA's Better Timber Buildings conference | 15 November 2018 | London

Following on from the success of the last two annual conferences, TRADA and their service provider Exova BM TRADA have joined forces to host a one-day timber conference levelled at uniting the industry in the pursuit of a common goal: building Better Timber Buildings.

On 15 November 2018, members of the timber industry will assemble at the Royal Geographical Society, London, for a day of talks, Q&As, and debate. The conference is aimed at architects, engineers, suppliers and clients, and aspires to support individuals looking to hone their talents when it comes to designing superb structures in timber. The day will involve four central sessions and attempts to unite inspirational case studies with practical hands-on guidance where high-performance is critical.

A broad array of topics are predicted, with planned talks and discussions around the following:

  • The awe-inspiring Macallan Distillery, arguably one of the most complex timber structures ever built in the UK;
  • The potential of timber design guides, such as TRADA’s National Structural Timber Specification (NSTS), which attempt to encapsulate decades of experience and innovation into streamlined documents that helpfully steer you to specify right from the ground up;
  • Current issues affecting the timber industry and well-rounded, practical solutions to them;
  • Correctly designing timber structures in relation to fire safety and durability; and
  • How we can utilise reports from home warranty and insurance providers, and quantity surveyors, to discover our past successes and mistakes.

“The Better Timber Buildings conference is about switching tack,” says TRADA’s Rupert Scott. “Timber’s popularity continues to grow but now, more than ever, we need to look further and begin taking our timber buildings to the next level. This means aspiring to do a better job right through the chain – from specification to completion – and the best way to start is collectively.”

To attend, please book here: http://bettertimberbuildings.eventbrite.co.uk

For further information, please check the online brochure here or contact Jane Lomas on [email protected] and 01494 569642.

View the event on the CTI Industry Calendar.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/tradas-better-timber-buildings-conference-15-november-2018-london]

Timber Expo 2018 ready to kick off at NEC Birmingham | 9-11 October 2018

With only hours left until this year’s Timber Expo sponsored by Steico, kicks off, timber industry professionals still undecided about making the journey will want to take a look at the latest announcements about what’s on at the show at Birmingham’s NEC between 9-11 October, before they miss out on the industry’s biggest event of the year.

The much-anticipated second state of the investigation into flexible timber construction systems has been reached and is being revealed at the Timber Expo by the Royal College of Art and 2NDState.

A team of architects, engineers, fabricators and students have been residing at Grymsdyke Farm research facility, working to develop a flexible design system, using plywood panels. The second state of the project examples how constructions can be designed for dis- and reassembly, so that they can alter their nature, grow and relocate. The finished structure is being dismantled and transported from Grymsdale Farm, to be reassembled at the Timber Expo for all to understand.

A shape-change structure isn’t the only lure to the UK’s only timber focused show. TRADA is displaying the winning designs from its Urban Buzz University Challenge, including the understated winning entry reminiscent of rice terraces in China; the Technical Timber Zone is testing visitor’s knowledge of strength grades and wood species, with a £150 Amazon voucher up for grabs; Carwyn Lloyd Jones, master carpenter at CAT, is revealing his latest tiny timber home challenge built using only natural materials; and BBC Musician of the Year 2016 Andrew Woolcock is showcasing the aural beauty of wood with his rosewood marimba.

Timber Expo Show forms part of UK Construction Week (UKCW), the construction industry’s largest event. 35,000 visitors are expected through the doors of Birmingham’s NEC, taking advantage of more than 650 exhibitors, 10,000 products, 350 speakers, 300 hours of talks, 35 different CPD sessions and 9 industry-specific shows.

Craig Colligan, National Sales Manager – Housebuilding of Steico said: "Steico is delighted to be the headline sponsor for Timber Expo. Our range of timber products is by far the most comprehensive in the industry and we are proud to have them to be showcased at Timber Expo."

Also taking place is the Role Model of the Year announcement, the Structural Timber Awards, launch of the TTF Academy; the Confederation of Timber Industries’ Time for Timber workshops and networking programme (find out more here); the Future of Construction Hub; and live rockaoke at the Beer Festival, sponsored by Velux.

Visitors will leave with their questions answered, needs covered and knowledge updated.

For the last chance to attend, tickets are still available from www.timber-expo.co.uk and allow access to all nine UKCW shows: Build Show; Energy 2018; Timber Expo; Surface and Materials Show; Building Tech Live; HVAC 2018; Civils Expo; Plant and Machinery Live and Grand Designs Live.

Show news and updates will be posted live throughout the event on the website at www.timber-expo.co.uk and Twitter @TimberExpo or using the hashtag #TimberExpo2018.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-expo-2018-ready-kick-nec-birmingham-9-11-october]

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