Women in landscape: Leann Ostheimer Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, January 10, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

LeAnn Ostheimer (executive vice president design-build, Lifescape Colorado) grew up on a dairy farm and worked outside as a kid. She also had a childhood attraction to create, build and organize things. A long-time friend—now a colleague—introduced her to the CSU horticulture program, which combined all her interests including her desire to be outdoors.

Her thoughts on her career experience:

Gender disparity

I think it is more challenging for women to gain confidence and traction with clients. It took some years for me. It’s not common [in the industry] to hear a female discussing construction methods, so I’m not sure some clients or contractors always took me seriously. I stayed true to myself. If what I proposed didn’t work for some, that was fine. But there are many that it did work for and thus began a successful career. I tend to be someone who speaks up. I found sometimes when a female authority makes a strong, direct comment it doesn’t have the same impact as coming from a male authority. Alternatively, I have earned the respect of many colleagues, contractors and clients for speaking up and this has helped me get to where I am today.


In my teen years I had some amazing strong female mentors—coaches through the sports I played. They taught me the importance of leadership, teamwork, setting goals and discipline. Looking back, I appreciate their dedication in helping mold young women. In my professional career I’ve had male mentors. I've worked for three amazing male owners. They each taught me something different with regards to professional skills, how to handle situations, and how to be a better designer, leader and businesswoman. I also learned by observing their work styles and ethics through countless meetings and encounters. They have helped me grow. They have never treated me differently because I am a woman. And of course, my parents being farmers and a dairyman and woman, laid the first foundation for me—work hard and get a good education.


Choose to lead and go big. Following requires the same effort without the rewards. It may take more time to prove yourself to others as a female, but keep setting goals, have patience and persistence and you can get where you want to go.

Benefits of women in industry

Women help balance the ego in the room and solve problems in a different way. As a designer, they bring a softer side to spaces and plantings, and think through the aesthetics differently.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green Now:
Women in landscape: Charlene Farley Chacon
Women in landscape: Jessi Burg
Women in landscape - Kristina Smith-Becker

Women in landscape 2021: Part 2

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