Women are are still fighting for representation in Landscape Design, and a group of powerhouse industry leaders got together at Harvard to talk about why. Landscape Forms gathered 14 female leaders and three female students on June 27 and 28 to discuss critical issues and future prospects for women in the profession. “Women in Landscape Architecture: Amplifying Our Voices” was held at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, hosted by Landscape Forms CEO Margie Simmons, and moderated by Allyson Mendenhall, FASLA, PLA, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Sasaki.
According to the VELA (Visualizing Equity in Landscape Architecture) Project, women earn 55% of the degrees in landscape architecture. But just 27% of licensed landscape architects are women, and only 12% rise to leadership positions in the profession.
“That’s why we are here today – to talk about what we can do individually and collectively,” CEO Simmons declared. “I believe in the power of many. When we gather and work together, we can have a real impact for all women in the profession.”
Significantly, the roundtable included women who lead design practices or divisions of large firms and non-profits. Also on hand were players in the public sector and academia. The discussion focused on structural and cultural issues facing women in landscape architecture. The goal was identifying ways to support and empower women to: use their knowledge, skills and passions; gain recognition; have a voice; and promote opportunities for the women landscape architects of the future. Landscape Forms will publish a whitepaper documenting the discussion, which will made available online.
Moderator Mendenhall praised “the diversity of perspectives and the level of engagement at the Roundtable. We saw how women are creating meaningful opportunities in the profession for themselves and others.”
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