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Women in Horticulture

Posted By Janice M. Strachan, Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I just read an article (posted at about Dr. Kate Santos. She "has taken on a new role as co-founder of Luxflora, an organization for women in horticulture. ... her goals for Luxflora ...  include developing opportunities for women in the industry to tell their stories, have their voices heard, network with one another and connect with the next generation, as well as the consumers with whom they have so much in common."

My question is: is there a need and interest in having a "Women in Horticulture" group within ASHS? What are the pros and cons?

Or should we form a relationship with Luxflora? Again pros and cons?

Tags:  form new group  Horticulture  Luxflora  Women 

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Michael W. Neff says...
Posted Monday, November 30, 2015
Women in Horticulture started out as an ASHS Ad Hoc Committee in 1977. It held Ad Hoc Committee status until 1983, when it became a Working Group under the Education Division, with the stated WG purpose of “To promote high standards of professionalism by women in horticulture, to foster communication by dispelling myths of the sexes, and to encourage participation by both sexes in exploring problems faced by professional horticulturists in the work environment.” The ASHS Women in Horticulture Working Group disbanded in 1991.
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Mary L. Albrecht says...
Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Janice, you ask an interesting question. As Mike explained, we did have a Women in Horticulture Working Group. I was one of the "founding" members and served on the ASHS Ad Hoc Committee. Back in the day, there were very few women in ASHS. We were "invisible" to the Society and pushed to have the committee and then the working group. We had issues of visibility, inclusion, and networking. It was disbanded in 1991 because by then, within ASHS, many of the issues were addressed (I won't say resolved). Women were getting on committees and more were assuming leadership roles. We actually had a "black ops" group (members shall remain anonymous) that made sure women were being nominated for positions on the Board. I think the difference between ASHS and industry may be the fact that many of the ASHS members are located at universities which, in order to continue to receive federal funds, need to attend to diversity. Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of women on faculties and we now have more women serving as department heads and even deans. By no stretch of the imagination has equity been reached, but the systems are in place to ensure that diversity and the voice of minorities (however that is defined) is heard. How industry functions, I can't address. Now perhaps there may be a need for a venue for women members of ASHS who are in industry to connect with one another because the women may actually be more isolated.
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Ellen T. Paparozzi says...
Posted Monday, December 7, 2015
Paparozzi, E.T. and M. Lamberts. 1984. Anti-nepotism: An obstacle for career- bound couples. HortScience 19:483-484.

Mary A. said it all very nicely and succinctly. I was also a founding member and chair of the group for several years. There was a lot of push back starting this group and I don't know if that will occur again if you pursue this idea . If interested about the state of the art 30 years ago, see the article that Dr. Mary Lamberts and I wrote back in 1983.
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