by Mary Martinich, ASLA, PLA, CDT
Occupational sectors, such as landscape architecture, have been slow to close the gender gap. An estimated 24 percent of project landscape architects are women at present, but the number is steadily increasing—especially after a year that has forced all industries to rethink and reprioritize diversity.
The landscape architecture industry is now at the forefront of adapting and evolving with a renewed passion for building a more diverse workforce that is competitive and economically successful.
I am sharing some of the trends and obstacles guiding this transformation that I am encountering as Charleston Team Leader and Women’s Leadership Initiative Leader of SeamonWhiteside, a landscape architecture and civil engineering firm with offices throughout the Carolinas. The firm has focused its efforts on addressing the needed workforce diversity across the industry based on these trends.
Trend: The Glass Ceiling is Cracking
Females now hold more leadership roles in the industry than before, but few have positions at the highest level. While the change needed is recognized, a prevalent shift will eventually occur as company leadership understands that with diversity comes more talent and more business.