PROGRESS A recent NALP Job Assessment & Women in Landscaping Survey showed that 79 percent of women feel more accepted today than 10 or 20 years ago as females in the landscape industry, and 82 percent feel somewhat or very happy with opportunities for advancement at their lawn and landscape organizations. Though this is promising, there is still a gap between female and male responses, with 87 percent of male respondents somewhat or very happy with opportunities for advancement in their lawn and landscape organizations.

How happy or unhappy are you with your opportunities for advancement at your organization?

MALE 64% Very happy 23% Somewhat happy 10% Neither happy nor unhappy 2% Somewhat unhappy 1% Very unhappy

FEMALE 64% Very happy 18% Somewhat happy 9% Neither happy nor unhappy 7% Somewhat unhappy 2% Very unhappy

True or False: I believe my professional opportunities are limitless in the landscape industry.

MEN 76 24

WOMEN 67 33

Do you feel more accepted today versus 10 or 20 years ago as a female in the landscape industry? 79% Yes 21% No

more likely to enter into the field.” Now, it’s the employers who are struggling to find the best, most talented workers to fill positions, and, for some, that means looking to groups of people they typically didn’t recruit in the past. “The ideal mechanism for becoming more inclusive is for those who have historically been in power to open the door and pull up a seat at the proverbial table for those who haven’t been includ- ed in the past,” Anderson says. “Now- adays though, women, people of color, folks in the LGBTQIA+ community, and disabled people all have options to build their own tables. The question we as marginalized people are asking now of our male team members to diversify organizations has shifted from, ‘Why won’t you let us in?’ to ‘If you don’t want me, I’ll be taking my talents elsewhere, where I’ll feel valued and supported.’” Organizations in the landscaping industry are starting to feel the heat of labor shortages and as the economy picks up, they’re looking to strengthen their recruiting efforts and fill positions with qualified individuals. “I do believe attitudes are changing and that the change is good for the industry,” says Frank Mariani, CEO of Mariani Landscape in Lake Bluff, Illinois. “The job market is extremely competitive right now. This is an excel- lent time for men and women to look for jobs. I think that any CEO, president or owner would be silly not to look at every potential hire and let the best person win the position. I think the only barrier is companies that are stuck in the past and ones that I would love to compete against.”

APPEALING TO WOMEN Having an inclusive working environment is vital to attract and retain talented employees. For organizations looking to diversify and open more opportunities for women, there are common needs a majority of women look for in a place of employment. “Upwards of 75 percent of all U.S. caregivers are women. Long and un- predictable hours, equipment that isn’t tailored to women’s bodies, a general feeling of being underestimated, and a lack of women in leadership are just a few of the sore spots preventing retention of women in the field,” Ander- son says. “The very people who have decision-making power to help women


“Go where you are valued and respected. If you are working for or looking to work for an organization, agency or a company that has not yet made formal commitments to being more inclusive, equitable and diverse, just be mindful that regardless of your position, you may be called upon to help create those commitments. Follow the policies and procedures as they exist, but don’t be afraid to make suggestions on how they can be better.” —Sarah Lillie Anderson


WOMEN  30% I was recruited.

 37% I sought it out; it was my first choice.

 31% I took a job in it, but it wasn’t my first choice.

 2% It was the only job open to me at the time.

MEN  6% I was recruited.

 62% I sought it out; it was my first choice.

 25% I took a job in it, but it wasn’t my first choice.

 7% It was the only job open to me at the time.

National Association of Landscape Professionals 25

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