In a year that turned most workplaces upside down, a Vernon woman has earned provincial accolades for her leadership in the human resources field.
Tolko’s Tanya Wick has been named the 2021 HR Professional of the Year recipient by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon (CPHR BC & Yukon).
Wick made company history as Tolko’s first female executive, and was also the youngest person ever appointed to the VP level when she joined the company as Vice President of Human Resources in 2010.
Since then she’s pushed the local forest services company into new territory.
Early in her tenure, she pushed a male-dominated executive branch to invest the company’s future into people. She began measuring diversity and advocated for more balanced representation. She eventually put in place a diversity and inclusion steering committee, an annual People Awards program and unconscious bias training for executives, managers and supervisors.
Anthony Ariganello, CEO and president of CPHR BC & Yukon, said it’s “wonderful” to see a longstanding industry leader named this year’s Award of Excellence winner, especially during a pandemic that’s tested the strength and experience of HR professionals — and their companies — everywhere.
“The past year has been full of challenges for all of us, and Tanya is an exemplary example of how so many HR professionals have navigated the changes and challenges the past year has thrown at all of us. She has not only had to managed complex people challenges at Tolko, but has been instrumental in also leading non-HR projects to success.”
Wick leads a Women Succeeding in Forestry LinkedIn group, and is sought after as a keynote speaker and expert on diversity and inclusion within the industry. She was also selected as one of three industry reps to serve on the National Gender Equality in Forestry Steering Committee.
The other finalist for this year’s award was Kara Biles, CPHR of Prince George, who is leading inclusion and diversity at Canfor, one of the largest global producers of sustainable lumber, pulp and paper.