Season 2 | Women in Forestry | Episode 3

#19 | Gotta have thick skin in this industry

February 15, 2017 | Valerie Johnson

At the time of this interview, Valerie Johnson was a Forestry Specialist at the Ruffed Grouse Society. As a young woman professional in natural resources, Valerie credits the many women who came before her for having paved the way for her own journey and her mom for her tenacity. Even though she sometimes runs into uncomfortable situations, Valerie maintains a positive can-do attitude, and when she sees something that needs changing, she goes after it! Valerie, says that sometimes you just gotta have a thick skin in this industry, and one of her memorable life lessons from this interview was to not let your ego get in the way of your learning.

Key Takeaways:

[3:00] How did Valerie get started in forestry?

[4:35] Valerie didn’t know you could have a career in forestry at all!

[7:30] What is a Forestry Wildlife Specialist in charge of doing?

[11:00] Valerie describes what some of her leadership positions have been like.

[12:30] How did Valerie get involved in rugby during college?

[13:20] Valerie’s mother has been her biggest mentor.

[16:00] What is Valerie the most proud of in her career? That’s a hard one!

[20:00] As a woman, has Valerie experienced any challenges?

[22:55] Having thick skin is a wonderful plus in this industry.

[23:05] Valerie has learned not to take anything personally. Sometimes it’s better to take the higher ground.

[24:00] Don’t let your ego get in your way!

[26:35] What advice does Valerie have for women interested in this profession?

[29:30] People often do not associate forestry professionals within the science or STEM profession, but that’s what they are!

[30:15] What makes a good leader?

[33:05] Are leaders born or made?

[35:00] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!

Mentioned in This Episode:



Leadership Nature is a proud supporter of #forestproud, a diverse community of forest stewards.