WHERE SHE LEADS, MORE WILL FOLLOW.
Completing her Ph.D. at Oregon State, Pipiet Larasatie is determined to make a way that’s open and inclusive for all.
Larasatie, a first-generation college student from Indonesia, came to Oregon State and the College of Forestry because she wanted to study forest products marketing and innovation. She has done that, but she’s also taking the concept of innovation farther.
In a male-dominated field, with fewer students seeking degrees and careers in forestry, Larasatie is focusing her doctoral dissertation on increasing gender diversity in the forest sector — an important step toward modernizing forestry’s image and attracting young talent.
“Increasing gender diversity is no longer a right thing to do, but becomes a smart thing to do,” she says.
It takes a network to build one
A major challenge Larasatie found in her research is encapsulated in the title of one of her studies: “The ‘Catch-22’ of Representation of Women in the Forest Sector.” To attract more women to work in the forest sector, the industry needs more women working there.
Larasatie identifies women-specific networks and mentorship as two ways to increase gender diversity. She practices both. Her lab team — a graduate student, a visiting scholar from China and two undergraduates — are all women. Larasatie also created #womeninwoodscience, an online space where women in the industry can build virtual community.
“When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion in forestry, you need a network,” she says.
A role model has multiple roles
Mentoring for Larasatie extends beyond forestry. Working as a consultant for Oregon State’s Graduate Writing Center, she uses her experience publishing academic articles and writing grant and fellowship applications to help graduate students through the writing process, as well as in navigating their academic life. English is her third language, and Larasatie says it helps her have varied strategies when helping other non-native English speakers with their writing.
Larasatie also calls herself a Ph.D. mom, which is both factual and figurative. She gives credit to Oregon State’s Family Resource Center and student family coordinator Kristi King for providing vital support that has allowed her to pursue her Ph.D. while also caring for her 6-year-old daughter. In her lab and elsewhere in the College of Forestry, Larasatie finds students feel comfortable talking to her and asking for advice about academic and nonacademic life.
“I am motivated to be a role model,” she says. “I want to convey the message that women do not need to choose between family and reaching their career dreams. They can do both if they want to.”
Her own dream is to become a university professor. Larasatie remains on track to graduate this year despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19. And while the pandemic has frozen the academic job market for now, she remains undeterred.
“I love to do research. I love to teach. And at the same time, I love to be a mentor,” she says. Through hard work and a network of mentors, Pipiet Larasatie has learned to excel at all three.
Sharing knowledge, building community.
Pipiet Larasatie believes science should be communicated. In addition to her published research (below), forest sector website and #womeninwoodscience on social media, she has appeared on KBVR-TV’s Spotlight program and the Inspiration Dissemination podcast series on KBVR-FM.
The “Catch-22” of Representation of Women in the Forest Sector: The Perspective of Student Leaders in Top Global Forestry Universities
From Nude Calendars to Tractor Calendars: The Perspectives of Female Executives on Gender Aspects in the North American and Nordic Forest Industries
What Does the Public Believe about Tall Wood Buildings? An Exploratory Study in the U.S. Pacific Northwest
Recent Developments in Global Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) Market