To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, we interviewed a number of our female members who are excelling in our profession. Sharon Durdant-Hollamby FICFor is the Institute’s Vice President and Director of Sharon Hosegood Associates Ltd.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in arboriculture?
To make a difference and be an advocate for trees. Its also fun to be outdoors and work with trees!
What do you love most about your role?
It takes you everywhere, and you meet all sorts of people, so no two days are the same. It is a mixture of scientific technical detail, creative thought and problem solving, and there is always more to learn. Sharing ideas and collaboration with other disciplines is hugely rewarding.
Do you think the sector is doing enough to attract a more diverse workforce?
I think we are trying hard, but we need to be visible. #ILookLikeAForester is a good start, but we must continue reaching out to young people and career changers. The more mainstream media cover the better so that arboriculture is seen as an attainable and accessible career for all.
How can the sector support women in arboriculture and forestry
Practical things like correctly fitting PPE is improving, but still can be a challenge. Recognising employers for being sympathetic to good maternity cover and endometriosis (a debilitating menstrual condition). Things are moving in the right direction, but diversity is about gender, race, sexual orientation, belief systems and disability. Initiatives such as the Disability Confident campaign should help.