A Closer Look at Diversity in Horticulture: New Survey Highlights Need for Change

3 weeks ago

Here at Glendale, we put a massive focus on equality, inclusivity, and diversity within our company. A recent survey, conducted by the members who created the ED&I Charter for the Horticulture, Arboriculture, Landscaping, & Garden Media profession, which includes our dedicated Corporate Development Director, Adrian Wickham, sheds some light on the industry’s demographics, revealing important areas for improvement and growth. We’re beyond proud of Adrian for representing Glendale in this endeavour to promote inclusivity and diversity in the green services sector.

The latest findings from the survey with over 650 respondents indicate a surprising age demographic: only 12% of professionals are between 25-35 years old, and the 16-24 age group accounts for just 3%. This data highlights a pressing need to attract younger talent and nurture a more varied workforce. Here at Glendale, we strive to make the green services sector a viable option for young people with our award-winning apprenticeship scheme. We do our best to nurture apprentices into successful careers, with many of our apprentices having gone into more senior and management roles in Glendale.

According to the survey, the industry is made up of a majority of British (85%), with 39% being self-employed. The 45-54 age group forms the largest segment at 36%, while females represent 65% of the workforce. Interestingly, 81% identify as heterosexual, and 91% do not consider themselves disabled under the Equality Act 2010 definitions. A majority (56%) of industry members do not follow any religion, whilst a third are Christians. Other religious beliefs represent a minimal percentage. The ethnic diversity within the industry is also limited, predominantly white and British.

The survey also sheds light on sexual orientation and gender identity within the industry. Only 9% of respondents identify as gay or lesbian, 2% as bisexual, and about 5% report a gender identity different from their sex at birth.

In response to these findings, Adrian Wickham, vice chair of the British Association of Landscape Industries and Glendale’s Corporate Development Director, emphasises the importance of promoting ED&I. “Raising awareness and changing the culture around ED&I is significant – identifying all the protected characteristics, not just colour and gender, all of which will help us attract new people into this prosperous and growing industry,” Wickham states. His commitment to enhancing diversity is echoed throughout the industry.

Last year, the group enlisted the expertise of Gamiel Yafai, an ED&I consultant and founder of Diversity Marketplace. Wickham highlights Yafai’s role in leading the industry on this journey. Yafai’s team is set to conduct two free ED&I presentations aimed at education and inspiration, establishing leaders, and fostering understanding to overcome the fear of making mistakes in this sensitive area.

Wickham further explains, “Via Diversity Marketplace, we will have access to up-to-date information, policies, and laws around ED&I and some further stakeholder mapping to see how we can create some procedural changes. However, more importantly, we will be reviewing our governance and the ability to raise funds for more industry-wide diversity and inclusion projects. Over the coming years, there will be more engagement before implementation, as that in itself may take years as we live in this ever-changing world.”

In a move to recognise and inspire businesses working towards inclusivity, the Pro Landscaper Business Awards has introduced a new Diversity & Inclusion Strategy category. This category aims to celebrate those making significant progress in this area, providing role models for the industry.

At Glendale, we are committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace, reflecting our dedication to equality in every aspect of our operations.

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