International Women's Day has been celebrated on March 8th every year for exactly 100 years. Women's Day first took place in 1911, but has only been celebrated annually since 1921. It arose in the struggle for equality, the right to vote for women and emancipation. This year, the position of women in the corona pandemic will be given particular consideration. “In systemically important, often poorly paid professions in the hospital, in the intensive care unit, in the nursing home and at the supermarket checkout, they provided our society with basic supplies during the crisis.” (1) As every year, International Women's Day is used to discuss differences in wages between men and women. (2)

We wanted to use this day as an opportunity to introduce two women from gardening and landscaping and to ask you: How is it actually as a woman in gardening and landscaping?

In the Corona-compatible email interview, we spoke to Nadine Willms and Ilka Fedders. Mrs. Willms lives in East Friesland and is a master in gardening and landscaping (with a focus on the care of trees, bushes and perennials). She also works in an office for tree appraisals and ecological construction supervision.

Ms. Fedders lives near Lüneburg and has been self-employed since 2009. She is the CEO of her company Daisy and employs 11 people.

Interview: Nadine Willms
Interview: Nadine Willms

Is gardening and landscaping a male domain?

Nadine Willms has the feeling that the gardening and landscaping sector is divided into two areas, namely care and work with the plant and construction-related activities. Here, she has often noticed a separation of the gender: men are assigned the construction technology, women the plant area. Ms. Fedders also observes that landscaping is often a traditional male domain. Fortunately, both women are of the opinion that this is changing! There are more and more women who are doing an apprenticeship in landscaping and women are moving more and more into the light of the media.

Does it happen that women are not taken seriously in landscaping?

Nadine Willms says: “When doing green and apparently less physically strenuous work, it seldom happens that a woman is ridiculed as a woman. As soon as the activity has something to do with physical exertion or even machines, this is questioned significantly more often by customers or passers-by, or not taken seriously." However, Nadine Willms and Ilke Fedders also agree: As soon as colleagues see that women and men work equally good, initial stereotypical assumptions vanish. The two women also emphasize that it is not a question of gender, but of motivation, enthusiasm for landscaping and the skills that a person brings with them.

Is it easy for women to find a job in landscaping?

This was not a problem for Nadine Willms, Ilke Fedders reports that it wasn't that easy for her. She did her apprenticeship 25 years ago. It was difficult to find an apprenticeship and there she had to share changing rooms with the men for years. The good news is: A lot has happened and today it is the order of the day for women to do an apprenticeship in landscaping.

And the bottom line?

Both gardeners in gardening and landscaping emphasize that gender is not and should not be relevant. What is important are character, motivation, experience, ideas, skills, communication skills. So gender-independent factors. Diversity in terms of age, character and gender can only enrich companies. Different people have different ideas and talents, from which companies can only benefit. For Nadine Willms the goal is the greatest possible variety of personalities and experiences. Every single employee and colleague brings just as many different experiences and thus also solutions as a colleague. A diversified company is best able to provide the best possible service to its customers. In the case of Ms. Fedders and Ms. Willms, for example, it becomes clear how passionate they are about their job. Neither of them can imagine anything nicer than working in landscaping and nature. Passion at work is the most important thing!

It remains to be hoped that even the last glances and prejudices will disappear and that women as well as men will be taken seriously in their profession (not only in landscaping).

We wish you a happy International Women's Day!

Your smart to plan team

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Sources:

(1) Ziller Dominik (2021). International FES Women's Day 2021. Under: https://www.fes.de/internationaler-frauentag-2021

(2) dpa (2021). Appeal for Women's Day: Better collective agreements against the wage gap: Under: https://www.zeit.de/news/2021-03/08/appell-zum-frauentag-bessere-tarifvertraegen-gegen-lohnluecke?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.de%2F

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