Women in Arboriculture
Written by: Haylee Dunn WI-1486A and Jamie Mason WI-1494A
It is slowly becoming less of a shock for people to see women in trees, and it’s a welcomed change to say the least. For almost 100 years, arboriculture has been a male-dominated profession. Even today, less than 10% of arborists are women. That number is steadily rising thanks to diversity, inclusion, education, and acceptance.
However, even though we are encouraged and supported in our careers as arborists today, this wasn’t always the case. Within the past 100 years, women have faced wage gaps, fought for maternity leave, and faced disrespect from being in a male-dominated industry. Currently, women still face adversity, but we are working to break through the glass ceiling and pave the way for aspiring arborists. The increased use of modern machinery like spider lifts, loaders, and mechanical climbing devices have made this field accessible to many different arborists who may not have had the ability to work in arboriculture in the past. The advances of machinery have also served to extend all arborists’ careers by lessening the wear and tear on our bodies.
While Wachtel Tree Science employs one of the highest numbers of ISA Certified Arborists of any company in the state, Wachtel also has one of the highest proportions of female arborists. Currently, about 30% of Wachtel’s arborists are female which well exceeds the industry average. This creates a well-rounded perspective when it comes to pruning, removing, planting, and treating trees. All of us at Wachtel Tree Science have unique backgrounds and educations which help us to bring a broad range of experience to the art of tree care. Our female arborists climb trees, use chainsaws, drive trucks, and lead crews. All of which are strong, capable, and adaptive arborists who have no problem being leaders in a male-dominated industry.
Knowing that women are in arboriculture is an important step for industries beyond arboriculture. This sets a tone to challenge history and change the future for minorities. We, as a company, are constantly working to widen our diversity in arboriculture to include more races, genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Arboriculture is an art, science, and a huge community of individuals working to be better than we have been. So, next time you see women climbing in trees, don’t be surprised!