Meeting the needs of parents in the landscaping industry
Women are playing a larger role in the landscaping industry, now making up roughly 10% of the workforce. As more women join a historically male-dominated industry, its challenges and priorities are changing, which impacts the needs of employees and how businesses are managed.
Jenn Myers of the National Association of Landscape Professionals works to connect female landscapers, share their successes, and discuss solutions to their challenges. She says one challenge women often talk about is motherhood.
Many aspects of the industry are tough on mothers. Long working hours, a lack of representation, lack of family benefits, and lack of family friendly employers, to name a few.
Jenn says the biggest solution is support. Moms, and parents in general, must be supported by their coworkers, employers, and families in order to care for themselves and their children.
Jenn recently helped host a virtual discussion about moms in landscaping, and many who tuned in were not parents. They listened and asked questions about challenges parents face, and where improvements can be made, all to help improve conditions for the moms on their teams.
“It’s important to be able to have conversations, to talk about things and not be ashamed. For example, a new mom shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for a place to pump. There should not be a stigma surrounding that, and she shouldn’t have to find another female employee to talk about this. Men need to have the conversation too.”
Jenn offered tips for employers. Most importantly, family and motherhood comes first. A sick child needs a parent nearby. Parents need time for family vacations, or to see their child’s school play and soccer games. Work is not always the top priority.
Another, encourage maternal and paternal leave. Parental leave is not only important for parents and their new child, it creates a company culture that emphasizes family values and is mom (or dad) friendly.
Family-focused employers attract and retain workers, building the value of their company and the industry as a whole.
Jenn Myers played a key role in developing the NALP’s Women in Landscaping Network, a group designed to boost female representation and advancement in the industry.
To learn more about the network and how to engage with its 900+ members visit: