Looking for a job in the tree care industry? Check out OutsideCareers.org, an industry resource focused on promoting careers in arboriculture.
Looking for advice on entering the industry? Check out these real world insights from women across the industry:
Lucy Cohn-Still: Don’t be afraid to make the position you want, or the experience you want to gain, known. State your goals, and set mile markers for yourself. As much as I love free stuff, you aren’t simply handed amazing entry level jobs. You have to work your way up.
Always be asking for new opportunities and challenges to broaden your skill set, and don’t be afraid to try new things that aren’t familiar. And it’s OK if your first job isn’t your one and only job for life. Everything you do builds experience, even if doing that job helps you see what areas you like or dislike in this field.
And women, don’t be afraid to say “No”. I always encourage people to try new things that aren’t familiar, but I wouldn’t ever ask something of someone who was truly uncomfortable. So don’t let your need to “fit in” or be equal, eclipse your need for SAFETY.
April Petree: My advice to women entering the industry is: Don’t be something you’re not! As women in an industry dominated by men, women would do well to do what they are best at. We are not called just to be the helper (i.e.: the office lady ) although we can be just that. Women need to use their strengths, whatever your strength is, because we are all created uniquely. If it’s being a Certified Arborist, PHC, management, running equipment, sales, Human Resources. Focus on your strengths.
Karen Rockoff: Never wait to get in the buffet line at lunch meetings – lol. Don’t be shy! 25 years in the business. I can give lots of advice. Just remember – you are a blessing & have a gift, like most of us in arbor care. We were picked to take care of one of God’s awesome gifts …trees! You are unique! Its a tough career path, but it wasn’t my choice..I was born this way.
Emily Ann Renshaw: Never lose sight of what you love about this industry. Nurture that. There will be tough times, aches, pains, cold, wet, and plenty of barriers. Tree work is not for the faint of heart, and that is even more true for women. But you are strong and you are not alone.
Mary Pederson: Find mentors. I could have never reached the places I am without the guidance and support of some amazing arborists in my life. Find people who are knowledgeable and have been successful in the industry, who will look out for you and will challenge and empower you.
Try to find someone doing what you want to do (or has done it in the past) and are doing it well. They will have the most applicable and beneficial advice to give in terms of achieving your goals. Good mentors are generous with their time, knowledge and advice. They want to see you grow and succeed, but they are also honest and provide constructive criticism. A mentor is looking at you and your future, helping you develop goals and ways to achieve them. They should also be safety oriented, especially in the field/production. Coming home at the end of every day is the top priority.
Elaine Rush: Think. Strength isn’t the only measure of usefulness; often a little more thought can make you far more effective and valuable than someone with a lot of physical power. Physical strength also builds with time – as long as you work steady and consistently well. Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t match others strength, they won’t all have the same levels either.
Claire Viall: It doesn’t hurt to listen to everyone’s advice, but choose yourself what works best for you. You’re going to screw something up eventually, it’s a given. Learn from it and move on. Have fun!
Tammy Kovar: Problem solve! Use your noodle. Trees need our brains to save them. Collaborate and communicate with your teammates! We can do this.
Shaina Simand: Don’t listen to anyone who says we shouldn’t be in this industry or it’s going to be too hard!! Prove them wrong 💪
Julia Elizabeth Jones: Join the ISA and your local chapter and start going to workshops and classes. Introduce yourself to the people around you and learn everything you can about trees and the people who work with them!
Mundy Wilson Piper: The only advice I can add is find or create a workplace that appreciates who you are, live your dream, and share your passion for trees.
Hallie Dozier: Find a group of like-minded pioneer women. We can do this.
Toni Smith: Keep focused on what it is you’re trying to do. Your worst enemy is going to be yourself throughout this journey. Be original… Don’t think of yourself as an extension of anything; whether it’s a culture, a place, an environment or industry… Have the guts, have the courage and the belief in what you do.
Cassandra Bryant: Be tough, be courageous.
Dana Conrad Karcher: Find a mentor. Formalize the relationship and grow with each other.
Kellie Dodds: Own your power and never give it away. It’s a gift to be a mentor and should be honored as such. Strive to be the person you needed when you were younger. Historically this has been a male dominated industry and it’s your turn to be amazing. Take your power back and make something to be proud of and always be humble and kind. Focus on making “All Boats Rise!” These are the things I work on everyday to help keep me present and clear with my mission.