Women in Arboriculture – International Women’s Day 2023

9 months ago

In the lead-up to International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, we thought we’d shine the spotlight on the lack of women in the arboriculture industry and why more women should think about entering this rewarding sector.

Here at Glendale, we recognise that the industry we’re in is a largely male-dominated field, and whilst we firmly believe that arboriculture is for everyone, there’s still a stigma surrounding manual labour jobs being ‘men’s work’. Whilst this is an extremely old-fashioned view, it’s still very much prevalent in 2023 – in our opinion, no job should be gendered and there should be many more aspiring female arborists and tree surgeons who don’t face any barriers when trying to enter this industry.

Reflecting on our Industry

The industry as a whole should recognise the challenges that many women face which leads to them being underrepresented in arboriculture. We shouldn’t be brushing these challenges aside, and instead, taking steps to prevent them. We’re not asking companies to hire more women regardless of their skills. We’re asking to take gender out of the equation in the recruitment process and just focus on who would be the best fit for the role.

Whilst gender shouldn’t be considered when hiring arborists and tree surgeons, it should certainly be considered within the working day; many women face discrimination from clients, other employees, and even managers within this sector. Whether their skill is underestimated, they’re being assigned the ‘easiest’ jobs and being questioned if they can do something, or whether they’re being harassed, or even excluded. Whilst sexism isn’t exclusive to arboriculture and is a wider issue that we’d love to be addressed once and for all; there’s still a massive problem specifically within arboriculture that needs to be scrutinised.

women in arboriculture

The Women of Glendale

Even though there are a few women in our own operations, we recognise that the number of men significantly outweighs them – whilst this is an industry-wide problem, we want to do more to try and address this. We recently spoke to Cheryl Casey, our Kent contract manager, about how she got into arboriculture:

“I have been involved in arboriculture for 12 years, starting in an administrative role as a Personal Assistant to the Operations Manager.  During this time, I gained knowledge and understanding of the operations in arboriculture and I am pleased to now be managing the Kent contract and would like to use this opportunity to encourage more women into the industry.”

We’re extremely proud to have Cheryl as part of the Glendale family, and even more proud to have women on our team who could potentially act as role models or a positive influence for more women who would like to enter our industry.

At Glendale, we’re working hard to focus on our hiring process, act on any discrimination, promote inclusivity, and encourage our team to treat everyone with kindness and respect, no matter their gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. We believe every company should do the same.

Why is Tree Surgery & Arboriculture Regarded as a Man’s Job?

The ideology of men being ‘stronger’ whilst women are ‘more caring’ has been around for centuries – the stereotypical cliché being of boys wearing blue and climbing trees whilst girls wear pink and play with Barbie dolls. Because men are regarded as stereotypically stronger, that means that the more physical, demanding jobs get deemed as ‘men’s work’. Now, we’re not debating the fact that biologically, the average man is indeed stronger than the average woman. However, just because men are biologically stronger, doesn’t mean that women are weak.

Women aren’t directed or encouraged to go into many industries, including arboriculture, engineering, construction, and plenty more. So, from the fear of not being taken seriously, facing discrimination, and because of the lack of representation, many women don’t feel welcomed into these industries.

People have been put in boxes for as long as we can remember, but it’s not too late to change that.

tree management with glendale arborists

Spread the word!

This International Women’s Day, we want to spread awareness and encourage more women to enter the arboriculture industry. Here at Glendale, we’re a leading grounds maintenance company committed to creating a supportive and inclusive work environment, where all employees are valued and respected. We dedicate ourselves to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion, and believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential to our success.

We’ve got a fantastic apprenticeship scheme, if you’re looking to get your foot in the door of this industry, then please apply. If you’re already experienced within this sector, we’ve got many job roles available on our careers page. We’re always looking to expand our team with hard-working individuals as passionate about green spaces as we are.

Let’s help create a more accepting and diverse industry, share this article using the links below and support our campaign:

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