Championing Women in Tree Care

During a 2018 commencement speech at Barnard College, retired soccer player Abby Wambach spoke about that awesome moment when a goal is scored during a soccer match. But she noted that what takes place after the goal is often where the lesson lies.

Amy Tetreault

“What happens next on the field is what transforms a bunch of individual women into a team. Teammates from all over the field rush toward the goal scorer. It appears that we’re celebrating her: but what we’re really celebrating is every player, every coach, every practice, every sprint, every doubt and every failure that this one single goal represents.”

Listen, we women all view the tree care world differently. Some of us are concerned about how to find a mentor to help guide our career. Others are trying to figure out how to climb smarter (not always harder). And many are just trying to figure out how to be a female on an all-male crew in a rural town.

But here’s the thing: We all want the same thing. We want this industry to embrace the idea of diversity and inclusion at every level. We want to be treated fairly, and we want opportunities to grow. We want to do our jobs.

In this issue alone, we are covering everything from leadership advice to clothing for women. We highlight all-female crews and celebrate accomplishments, like the bad-ass tree-climbing workshops for women.

And I firmly believe that all of these wildly different efforts are valid. As much as I keep wishing and hoping, I am not a member of the LeVangie family (founders of the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop). I don’t have the skillset or the bandwidth to organize and run an entire weekend of climbing for women of all ages and skills. But in my role at TCIA, I do have the ability to lobby for more women speakers at TCIA events or help create content that features diverse voices.

As we all work to leverage our diverse skillsets to achieve these ambitious goals, we should keep one value in mind: Continue to support one another. And in this weird, post-mid-who-knows-anymore pandemic world, that support is powerful.

“You will not always be the goal scorer,” says Abby Wambach. “And when you are not – you better be rushing toward her. Women must champion each other.”

Because, like Abby says, the success of one woman (in this case, the goal scorer) is a collective success for all women.

You may have different perspectives on how to improve diversity and inclusion in the tree care industry. But as long as we’re all running down the field together, working toward the same goal, my request is that you continue to celebrate every player, every coach, every practice, every sprint, every doubt and every failure.

Amy Tetreault is TCIA’s senior vice president of corporate engagement.

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