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Women in Arboriculture: Tracy Clarke MICFor

To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, we interviewed a number of our female members who are excelling in our profession. Tracy Clarke MICFor is Director of Tracy Clarke Tree Consultancy Ltd.

Why did you choose a career in arboriculture?

A friend of mine was studying Arboriculture at Merrist Wood, and I had never heard of it before.  I wanted to do something with my work that would make a real difference to the environment and so I was intrigued and found out more about it, I discovered a college closer to my roots and applied straight away to study there.  I was really excited about the whole thing, it fascinated me, it was not just theory, but the practical aspects of arboriculture that interested me, I was able to learn outside, climb trees, use a chainsaw and machinery; it was so different to anything else I was aware of in terms of a career and was really appealing.  I never found it dull and have only continued to learn new things as my career in arboriculture has developed.

What do you like most about your job?

I love the fact that my days are varied, and that I can be working inside or outside on any given day of the week.  The subject of arboriculture is so vast that I’m constantly learning, my work is never boring and is always challenging me to improve myself, my knowledge and expertise.   I have some wonderful working relationships with other professionals within the industry and outside of my professional field where we continue to collaborate to resolve technical issues around trees or in helping to deliver a well-considered project, I really enjoy this aspect of the work I do.    There is so much opportunity to get involved in things that can and will make a difference to our environment.

Do you think the sector is doing enough to attract a more diverse workforce?

By doing our work well, we can inspire others to want a career in arboriculture, all of us bring something unique to the workforce, each of us has something to contribute and I know that many of us in the arboricultural industry promote diversity in the workplace as much as possible, we need to keep doing this and to try and find new ways of making the sector more visible within the range of careers available in the world.

How can the Institute support women in forestry & arboriculture?

The ICF can continue to promote campaigns like #ILookLikeAForester focusing their reach beyond our industry, demonstrate that the career is accessible to all, including women and use existing female members to showcase their work to the wider population

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