The landscape industry is historically a male-dominated field. In 2019, Statistica reported that the percentage of female landscaping and groundskeeping workers was on the rise, approaching nearly 10 percent of the industry workforce. That number plummeted to just 6.5 percent in 2020, less than one year later.
Pandemic implications have taken a serious toll on women’s careers, often prompting both seasoned and novice landscape professionals to put their goals on hold. Savanaha Spencer, Brittany Auman and Alicia Brentzel are three women out to change that.
As leading figures in the landscape industry, Savanaha, Brittany and Alicia are determined to inspire other women to forge new possibilities. They defy expectations by not only working in the field but co-operating thriving companies. These female disruptors also recognize the power of social media and have made a name for themselves in the green industry because of it.
So what are the biggest challenges of being a woman in landscaping? What should other women know to get started? Read on to find out.
Savanaha is the co-owner of Spencer Lawn Care, a company offering lawn care, landscaping, and snow removal. She also runs Spencer Media LLC, providing quality video entertainment, how to’s and product reviews, all pertaining to the lawn care, landscaping, and snow removal industry. Brittany is a landscape contractor, owner of landscape construction business Auman Landscape, as well as a training academy for the landscape and lawn care industry. Alicia is the President of Brex Enterprises, a construction company specializing in pipeline maintenance work and site development.
Women in the Field
When people think of women in the green industry, they often imagine them in administrative office roles. But many women love working in the field. Alicia believes the green industry should normalize that.
“Women don’t need special social posts about how amazing it is that they can operate an excavator,” she says. “I believe this only further creates a divide.”
Women should be called out for their hard work and skill, not their gender.
Similarly, Brittany says male business owners should start hiring more women.
Not only for office work, but for field work as well.
“There are a lot of us out there who are willing to get our hands dirty and take charge!” said Brittany.
Because equality is of the utmost importance to her, she wishes people would be hired based solely on their skill level and experience.
What It’s Really Like
Luckily, our three female disruptors have had mostly positive experiences in the male-dominated industry. While acknowledging it is sometimes hard to get respect from her peers, Brittany feels like people, for the most part, are very kind and helpful.
Similarly, Savanaha has enjoyed navigating the industry as a woman.
“I believe most people find it refreshing to see a woman doing the work we do,” she said. According to her, there have been more women stepping out of their comfort zone and understanding they can do more than what they have been “labeled” to do.
Advice for the Next Generation
When asked what advice she’d give to the next generation, Alicia explained women should never stop asking questions: “If you’re in a position where you know it all, push yourself further and never settle,” she said.
To Brittany, another important piece of advice is to “never be afraid to go after what you want.” Failure is okay as long as you learn from it and continue to push forward.
Lastly, Savanaha explains that if something is of interest to YOU the only way you would know if you actually enjoy it is if you get out there and try it. Do it for YOU and not for someone else. That way you have the satisfaction of trying and not giving up.
“You could really surprise yourself,” she says. She added that she has already seen a great deal of growth in the industry when it comes to including women and she believes it will only get better from here.
LMN’s Hype House
While the original Hype House was started by Tik Tockers in 2019, these three Female Disruptors were recently brought together at LMN’s version of a Hype House, a collaborative environment where landscape industry leaders and social media influencers share their business ideas and learn from each others’ professional experience.
Founded in 2009, LMN has helped its lawn and landscape customers create more than $51 billion worth of estimates, capture 78 million individual clock-ins, and manage more than 245,000 employees daily through the software. Visit https://golmn.com/.
Learn More about the Green Industry
To learn more about the state of the Green Industry, make sure to read what Savanaha, Brittany and other landscape industry masterminds see for its future. For more information about all three women, head over to their individual Female Disruptor profiles:
- Savanaha Spencer
- Brittany Auman
- Alicia Brentzel