In celebration of International Women's Day 2018 the Aboricultural Association is pleased to announce the formation of a new 'Women in Arboriculture Working Group', which will look at the best ways to encourage more women to get into arboriculture and address the gender imbalance that exists within the industry.
The purpose of the new Women's working group will be to promote and engage women in Arboriculture at all levels, from contractors to consultants, academics, suppliers, Tree Officers and support staff alike.
Gender equality is a major issue around the globe and whether it's at the BBC or within Arboriculture there is much progress to be made. In terms of representation and participation arboriculture is heavily weighted towards men, with only 13% female Arboricultural Association members according the 2016 membership survey.
Although this has been slowly changing, with many more women proving that working with trees is not just for men, there is still much work to be done to help improve the current numbers and make it a more attractive career prospect for women.
Luckily, we already have many fantastic examples of highly successful women with thriving careers in the industry. As part of our mission to promote opportunities for females in arboriculture, we've also released the brilliant 'women in trees' series of articles written by Arboricultural Association Technician member Lisa Sanderson.
When asked what advice she would give to women entering or trying to progress within our industry, Arboricultural Association Registered Consultant Lesley Adams gave these words of wisdom:
"Just do it!! Be professional, be pragmatic in your approach and don't act in haste. You may meet narrow minded people in your life but it doesn't necessarily mean they are sexist or that you have no place in the industry. Those people exist everywhere and you may meet them in both your working and personal life but you should carry on, work hard and do the best you can. Make friends and always find someone to share ideas with; it's an enormous help."
By promoting stories like these, hopefully we can begin to break down misconceptions and inspire future generations of successful female arborists to take their first step into arboriculture.
If you'd like to be part of the working group or share your ideas with them, they will be meeting on Saturday 12th May at the ARB Show 2018. If you'd like to get involved then please come along to the open lunch forum in the Arboricultural Association HQ tent between 13.00 and 14.00.
Press for Progress: You can read and share all of the 'women in trees' stories below.
Contact: If you are interested in contributing to the Women in Arboriculture Working Group please contact Emma Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
Support International Women's Day: You can find out more about International Women's Day and the #PressforProgress campaign here: www.internationalwomensday.com/ .
Boel Hammarstrand and Jo Hedger