Own what you do. Identify your core values and principles. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you believe in.
Sounds like words to live by, right?
They are indeed, especially in Taylor Johnston’s case.
Johnston, the greenhouse supervisor at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, will be hosting the Women in Horticulture Networking Luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at New England Grows, the green industry’s premier trade exposition and educational conference in the Northeast. During the 90-minute luncheon, Johnston will discuss and celebrate the power and entrepreneurial spirit of women in horticulture, among other things.
“There’s sort of a giant question out there as far as who women are in horticulture,” Johnston said. “I want to present provocative questions that come up when you’re a female in the green industry. We look at magazines [and] see the ‘Martha Stewart’ version of things … that’s not really what it’s like. And so [the luncheon] is a way to break down the stereotypes. Is there a way for women to network together to maybe demonstrate that we have a special way of thinking about gardens? Hopefully we can come up with some ideas about this.”
The concept of thinking about your profession as an act of individual expression, or “encouraging individuality and celebrating that,” as Johnston puts it, is not gender or race specific. Johnston is interested in the role females currently hold in horticulture and the green industry, especially with regards to femininity.
“In fields that require a lot of manual work there isn’t really an accurate version of the modern female worker,” Johnston said.
“People look at Rosie The Riveter … or, there’s this very deliberate attempt to make women look very feminine, with the white skirt flowing in the breeze. Why can’t we celebrate intelligent, hardworking women who are also feminine?”
With thoughts like that in mind, Johnston became the founder of Gamine Co., a trade-inspired collection of stylish and functional work wear for women.
“It’s about giving people the opportunity to be included,” she said.
“On one hand, you want to be taken seriously, so you can’t show up [to work] in a skirt. On the other hand, you may find something to wear that’s functional, but it doesn’t make you feel like yourself. Over time, that bothered me a lot.”
Tickets for the luncheon, which will be held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, are $40.
More about New England Grows 2015
In addition to showcasing everything from pest control products to tree care equipment to trucks, New England Grows offers a variety of educational opportunities geared specifically to tree care pros, giving you a chance to acquire CEUs.
For more information, visit http://www.newenglandgrows.org or download the mobile app.