Thursday, May 30, 2024
The audience included landscape professionals of all genders (Image: Orlando Sydney Photography)
Industry Event

Inclusion inspires the landscape industry

Supplied by the Landscape Association

Members and friends of The Landscape Association celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) recently with a gathering and discussion by industry leaders, highlighting the role and future of women in the industry.

Held at The Butchers Block in Granville, Sydney, speakers from different sectors of the landscape industry shared their thoughts on the theme of #InspireInclusion in front of 70 members and guests.

The four panellists included Renae Sarina – Executive Director People & Capabilities, Landscape Solutions; Stacey Swetnam – 3rd year apprentice, Harrisons Landscaping; Kate Low – State Lead for Agribusiness and Supply Chain for TAFE NSW; and Renata de Vincenzo – General Manager, Devo Design Landscapes.

During a wide-ranging discussion, panel members talked about their own experiences in the landscaping industry and shared their perspectives around the question “What can we do as an industry to elevate the position of women?”

Apprentice Stacey Swetnam said that she would like to raise the visibility of women in landscaping, pointing out that most marketing material in the industry often only shows males, which meant that women looking to enter landscaping couldn’t find appropriate role models.

“If you don’t see change, you won’t see more women working in the trades,” she says.

Renae Sarina of Landscape Solutions says that visibility was only one part of the equation. She says it also needed to tie in with salaries and financial compensation. “Women need clear career pathways, which then link to better compensation, education and mentorships,” she said.

Kate Low talked about the lack of females completing qualifications in outdoor based trades and that it has been a slower process to encourage women to enter into these fields.

Lastly, Renata de Vincenzo mentioned the work she had to do to rise above both imposter syndrome and industry norms when she took the helm as General Manager of her husband’s landscape business.

CEO at The Landscape Association, Jodie Dean says that she feels that the industry has developed some great initiatives to encourage equity in the business and level the playing field for all genders.

Jodie also paid tribute to the day’s sponsors, including Gold event partner, Landscape Solutions, and Silver partners Andreasens Green Wholesale Nurseries, Bunnings, and Husqvarna, and commended them on their commitment to embracing inclusion.

The audience included TLA members, non-members, and landscaping professionals of all genders.

Overall, the mood at the brunch was positive and celebrated the progress made by women in the industry and the inclusion of women in many leadership positions.

Renae Sarina summed it up by saying that she believes the next 10 years are going to look very different for women in the landscaping industry.

“Persistency and consistency will make a difference and I think it is exciting for us,” she said. “More women will continue to keep us at the front of all the trends we are seeing.”

The Landscape Association is the peak industry body for landscaping in NSW and the ACT. TLA members enjoy a wide range of resources, information, services, and advice to assist landscapers to run their business and stay ahead of industry trends.

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