Why hire women? Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, June 22, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

With workforce being the #1 challenge within the landscape industry, some recruiters feel the immediacy of tapping into the half of our population that is poorly represented in landscape jobs at all levels. What would happen if women rose from only 10% of those employed in landscape jobs to 30 or even 50%? How much more work could get done?  

Char Farley Chacon, residential construction team manager, Designscapes Colorado, and her team of women volunteers from other ALCC companies are taking on the challenge to recruit and help more women be successful in the industry. As the “Women in Green” luncheon at ProGreen EXPO 2022 showed, women at all levels throughout the industry are ready to move on in their landscape careers and to bring other women along with them—including women who currently know nothing about the industry.

“There are things the men, who own 83% of landscape companies nationwide, may need to know about having more women employees and the strengths they bring to their work,” says Chacon. Women by nature are caregivers. “Many of us are moms” and often sandwiched between caring for kids and aging parents. Yet, they still work outside the home. The women who are juggling many plates in their personal lives while holding down a job also know a thing or two about management— both people and things.

Don’t forget sales. One vendor at ProGreen told us that 30-40% of the people now at tradeshows are women. “It’s crucial for us [as vendors] to find a way to get more women in the industry.” He also noted that the end users of all the green industry’s products and services are increasingly young to middle-aged women and “we need their viewpoint when selling.” Chacon agrees, “Our emotional intelligence and ability to relate woman-to-woman are invaluable.”

Employers who are willing to offer women the flexibility their lives require can see great returns. “For these women who want and need to work, flexibility is major,” says Chacon. “In return, the employer will gain an employee who works 50 times harder and is loyal. She will be there for you over the long haul because you helped give her a level of harmony in her life.”

Women need training

Right now, Chacon admits training is critical for both men and women in the landscape industry because there are so many new, untrained recruits. But she believes women will fare better whenever they can be trained alongside other women—though not necessarily with women exclusively. “When learning a new skill, we can feel intimidated,” says Chacon. “Having other women in the group makes it more comfortable to be vulnerable. Having your peers there to cheer you on builds comradery.”

ALCC’s Women in Green committee is addressing recruitment and training of women for landscape industry careers. Anyone interested in being involved should contact committee chair, Charlene Farley Chacon at [email protected].

Superpowers for success

If you are a woman, you may need “superpowers” to be successful in the landscape industry, still underpopulated by women at a ratio of about 10 to 1. Six women, who have worked in Colorado’s green industry +/- 20 years, reveal their personal superpower that has pushed them toward success.  Read the full article and learn more about their personal superpowers in Colorado Green.

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