NCT Forestry Co-operation Ltd
Chief financial officer
Forestry career: 13 years
As a chartered accountant, I’m mostly office bound which is quite sad when forestry is an ‘outdoor’ industry. I have, however, been able to visit many plantations and mills to get a better understanding of what is involved in the industry I work in. I’m responsible for the finance department, which involves paying for timber supplies, market debtors, overall financial reporting, foreign exchange transactions and cash management, among other bits and pieces. I also have oversight of the finances of other group entities and perform a treasury function for these. An average day is half spent dealing with emails, administration and cash flow management, with the other half being on financial statements, policies and procedures, tax matters and meeting deadlines for reporting and payments during the month.
I LOVE WORKING IN THE FORESTRY SECTOR
There are so many reasons — some really quite frivolous and others more serious. On the frivolous side, I love anything that’s wooden and find great enjoyment and peace from being out in the countryside. Aside from the commercial aspects of forestry, it contributes to keeping our world cleaner. Working for NCT is great because, simplistically, our goal is to look after timber-growers — people come before profit. Forestry is a sustainable industry and has a lot to offer society, both in terms of business and products.
MY ADVICE TO THOSE EXPLORING A CAREER IN FORESTRY
I think any career in an industry traditionally dominated by a specific gender, culture or age group can have its challenges, but our world is changing and becoming more integrated, with a lot more open-minded people who are willing to accept change. The stereotypes of strong men and delicate women who couldn’t prune a tree or carry heavy logs are being shattered daily. Bear in mind that forestry is not just about manual work, but about planning, research, management and service, which opens up so many more options. I would encourage women to follow whatever career in which they believe they can make a difference and reach their potential.