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WMC launches Status of Women Mentorship Project

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WMC by Richard Lipman
Richard Lipman is president of the Wood Manufacturing Council. For more info email rlipman@wmc-cfb.ca

The Wood Manufacturing Council is pleased to launch the Status of Women Mentorship Project. This 36-month project will engage women and key stakeholders with the woodworking industry to increase opportunities to advance women through the piloting of a sustainable mentorship model. Women currently employed in the industry will help identify gaps in programs and services, as well as needs and barriers they face when accessing opportunities to advance within the industry.
The project will also examine women’s contribution to the sector and their participation rates in management and leadership opportunities. A mentorship model will be developed in collaboration with key local stakeholders to addresses sector-specific barriers and meet the needs identified 
by women.
WMC will work in partnership with relevant community and sector stakeholders – building partnerships began immediately and will continue throughout the project. We have established a strong project steering committee that is overseeing and assisting our efforts. The committee will meet face to face early in the project and by other means throughout the project to ensure a successful outcome. To inform the planning and development of a mentorship/sponsorship model, we have retained a research group to conduct an assessment of the current situation of women professionals or entrepreneurs to identify needs and barriers.
Using a gender lens, the assessment will consider the current contribution of women professionals or entrepreneurs to employment and prosperity in our sector. As part of this effort, we will consult with professional and entrepreneurial women, partners and stakeholders to identify barriers, priorities and opportunities. The plan is to also identify existing policies, services, decision-making processes, etc., and determine their effectiveness.
A key activity will be to identify promising mentorship/sponsorship models that could be implemented, taking into consideration their sustainability, strengths and challenges.
With our committee we will collaboratively select and then implement a chosen mentorship/sponsorship model, with the assistance of the appropriate expertise, in business and or educational institutions across the country.
WMC will ensure that the knowledge gained throughout the project is shared with firms, educators, governments, associations etc. Results and tools developed during the project will be disseminated 
to others through the trade press and via social media. We will evaluate, using a consultant, the effectiveness 
of the mentorship/sponsorship model, and we will consider the extent of organizational uptake 
and the sustainability of the 
selected model.
We will be using WMC’s LinkedIN page (Wood Mfg Council NEWS), which we know has a significant following by women 
in the sector, to gather as many views as possible and to share progress on this and other projects.    

ONLINE MANAGEMENT SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAM SCHEDULE
I also want to remind readers 
of the schedule for the Online Management Skills Training 
(MSTP) courses planned for 
the balance of 2015.
• September 7 – November 2:  Production Planning / Marketing Green Products
• November 2 – December 14: Supply Chain Management / Factory Planning and Equipment Justification

The MSTP is delivered online by the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP). It was developed by WMC in response to needs expressed by its industry and other stakeholders across Canada. MSTP is a professional development program, designed for workplace learners and emphasizes the acquisition and practice of management skills. Participants may take modules one-by-one at their own pace and if they are intending to seek the MSTP Certificate for program completion, they must complete 
a minimum of six courses.
There are no formal academic requirements for entry into either the Certificate Program or any individual course module.
However, participants are expected to have reasonable communication skills, English language proficiency, and numeracy (basic mathematics) skills.  In addition, certain modules require that a previous course in the program has been completed first, and some modules specifically require participants to be familiar with the use of spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel. Each e-learning course/module requires between 30 and 40 hours of part-time study over approximately six weeks, and all have been designed specifically 
for the wood products industry.
To learn more about the program, obtain specific information and/
or to register for one of the 
courses, please contact: Jason 
Chiu, jason.chiu@ubc.ca

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