#SeeHer: This female forester is comfortable in her skin (and muddy boots)
Erin Herrin enjoyed the kind of childhood that’s rare today. She grew up in a small town in northeast Texas, where she idled away her leisure hours in the piney woods. Her mother encouraged her and her sisters to play outside as much as they could.
But it wasn’t all daydreams and diversion. She also spent time working with her father on outdoor DIY projects, including a patio and a covered carport. “I got to learn a lot from him during those times,” said Herrin. “He gave me an example of how hard work can pay off, and the value of putting time and effort into a project and being proud of the result that you got.”
He may have given her something else as well: self-confidence.
Herrin graduated Texas A&M University with a major in forest management and now puts her love of the outdoors and her hardcore work ethic to use as an area harvesting manager for Georgia-Pacific.
“I oversee the team that supervises the logging contractors that harvest our stumpage purchases from forest landowners here in east Texas. I also work as a part of the procurement team that procures those raw materials for our sawmills and plywood facilities,” said Herrin. She gets to do the majority of her work outdoors, in the field. Most of that work, she says, is with men.
“I've had multiple people over the years make comments like, ‘you do fieldwork?’ and ‘you go out in the woods?’, and those comments always make me chuckle a bit. But eventually throughout our conversation, they begin to realize that I do have the experience and I can do the job.”
Watch the video to meet Herrin, hear her thoughts on mutual respect and her advice for women and girls about seeking out challenges and conquering self-doubt.