Women working in a male-dominated industry

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Women working in a male-dominated industry

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    Sara Kirk

    I used to work in the south as well, and am also a young, female, LA. I definitely felt like I was in a good ole’ boy club many times over the 7 years I worked down there. I haven’t really gotten into my new job yet up north, so I’m not sure if I will notice a difference or not – I doubt it though. I imagine it is just an issue that comes with being in a construction-type industry.

    BUT it was just something I dealt with and like you said, found ways to get around. I primarily noticed it more with contractors in the field and with clients, rather than with other design professions I worked with on project teams. I’ve been called ‘little landscaper lady’, darlin’, sugar, etc, etc,,, and looked down upon and ignored, even talked about as if I wasn’t even there. BUT in the end (most of the time) you are the one signing off on their punch list and approving their payment….so mostly it was something to go back to the office and laugh about because it’s just so ridiculous. It was never bad enough to really bother me. I just accept it as part of the deal and many of those same people end up being decent to work with after you gain their trust and the project works out well, etc. Which is why I also think it’s part of being young too, it’s not uncommon for people to make others prove themselves. Just wanted to agree and say that I saw that kind of stuff all the time.

    Andrew Spiering

    Check out Women in the Dirt… a documentary film that explores the role of women in landscape architecture.


    Read more and comment on our blog… http://www.land8.net/blog/2011/03/08/women-in-the-dirt/


    Trace One

    sorry, heather, you got it completely wrong..In my experience, men will co-operate, they will gossip, form groups, and collaborate, whereas women will stab each other in the back..


    Do you see what I am saying? It is the women who are more agressive…The men aren’t!! It is  not women’s agression that we need more of! We need more manly co-operation and tolerance!!!


    ..Your agressive response to my post in fact proves my point..In my office, the men play b-ball together, and loose to each other..The women are very agressive and don’t want any competition on any level, even to let themselves loose once and a while!..

    But again, LIKE I SAID,  these stereotypes are SO old..

    Why aren’t there any famous women lead guitar players….???Joe Pass, Jim Hall, one could go on and on…But if you list Joan Armitrading and Bonnie Raitt (who neither compare to Jim Hall at all..) one is done with the womens list..

    You have it backwards, Heather..

    Trace One

    removal of discrimation has been done, Andrew – !!! good god, don’t you know anything about being black in the deep south? You are kidding me..

    and it is also obvious that, as the typical white male, you don’t really believe discrimination against women exists!!

    It is obvious from your posts..

    You need to spend a month in black  face, walking the streets of Boston, or even in a wheelchair – medical students are routinely subject to these types of head trip experiences..

    Tanya Olson

    Rory Block, Nancy Wilson, Joni Mitchell, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Kelley Deal ( the Breeders – haha!), Ani DeFranco, Liz Phair….off the top of my head.

    Trace One

    sorry, tanya, who???

    Lita Ford, Kelley Deal..??? keep trying..not convinced! Dont’ know any of them, really..as much as I know Clapton, Pat Metheney, Jim Hall,..

    do you really believe what you are saying?

    Nancy Wilson is a singer!!! No BS now!

    and Joni Mitchell, who I love, as a guitarist?? No..a songwriter/singer..

    Sorry, Tanya, I stand unconvinced that there is a female presence in guitar playing..

    If you want to stick to your guns and say that there IS a female presence, ok, but if you want to admit defeats, the real question is, WHY??? what is the reason for the notable absence? Is it the industry?

    Heather Smith

    I have to say that it is pretty ironic that my response is “aggressive”. What would yours be? I am speaking up for myself and other women. I get along well with other people and love working in a team environment. Forgive me if I don’t have time to go shoot hoops and neither does my husband. I hardly think that makes us less of team players.

    The numbers regarding aggressive aka assertive behavior have been studied to death. If I have it backwards so do all the studies that have been done in the past proving my point.

    Trace One

    I think when you start using **##@@@ sort of stuff it is pretty much agressive, Heather..No? It is not assertive, it is just agressive..Who do you want to go up against, some mommy with her soccer -playing daughter, or some industry eco-damaging insider, ready to rape the environment? The soccer mom will rip you heart our to defend her baby, and serve you nads for lunch…

    Sorry, but shooting hoops does make you a team player..

    Or is that not your experience?

    try to be objective,  not vituperative.  

    what really is your experience?

    I really am asking..Men aren’t necessarily assertive..But women are really agressive..I think it is in NOT ACKNOWLEDGING their inherent agression, and superioirity in that sphere, in their need to deny the co-operative nature of men’s dominance, that women are falling short..

    We are really agressive and assertive..Denying it is not the answer to achieving equality..


    My own personal deal right now is the difference between introverts and extroverts..I am a serious introvert – I hate charettes, I think that is the wrong way to get to a good decision..I think our society has so much emphasized the qualities of extorversion, over the advantages of introversion, even tho 50% of us are introverts, that we are suffering..

    sometimes it is better to sit and think, than to get out and perform..

    I think (right now – new area of thought for me) that that is what is wrong with our society..Not men and women….It is the emphasis on extroversion, as opposed to the qualities that introverts contribute..

    too weird?


    Not even close to the boys-Sorry.

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Read my earlier post between the difference of instittional discrimination and individual discrimination. I clearly stated that I do not think there is very much institutional discrimination any more. But there are individuals who discriminate based on gender, race, etc,…

    Zach Watson

    Tanya your commentary takes this discussion to a place that i think we should not go.  When we start looking at numbers and stating that one group is being discriminated because the percentages are not equal, then we potentially start looking at how one group should be encouraged to join a profession and consequently the other group is discriminated against because they then start off at a disadvantage.  Why don’t we let the choice of work and where they want to work up to the individual?  We should not punish one group because they have more initiative then another.

    Tanya Olson

    Then you haven’t listened to the music very well  – Anne Wilson is the singer, Nancy is the guitar player. If she doesn’t compare to the best the boys had to offer in the 70’s and 80’s then you’ve never listened to Heart. Rory Block is probably one of the best blues guitar players I’ve ever heard in my life. Ani DeFranco compares only to Prince in ability and creativity (another unrecognized guitar hero) I’ve never in my life heard of Jim Hall or Joe Pass.

    My boy list would be Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Jimi Hendrix (of course), Richard Thompson. I’d be hard pressed to add VanHalen or Jimmy Page. Can’t think of too many others, to be honest. Lots of noisemakers, not too many original voices. hehe

    Trace One

    ok, different playbooks..still not convinced that any of the women you name compare in stature to guitarist men, but if you don’t know Jim Hall or Joe Pass, we are in different music scenes..I don’t know Joe Satriani or Eric Johnson at all..


    do you insist that your list of women guitarists, in your music world, are as influential as the men? I still find it hard to believe..And of course, I personally don’t think Nancy Wilson can be even in the same game as Joe Pass..But you don’t like jazz, I geuss..

    Oh well..so much for random comments and convictions……Maybe we can get the gov. to sponsor a study of women guitarists, devise a numerical and chemical system of comparison, and arrive at a conclusion which will change – NOTHING!! But we will get a government salary and have a lot of fun..

    I did a women’s music radio afternoon for my college station, for a semester..that was fun..


    I hate to say it but in 2011 no one wants to hear about discrimination. This country has become some what numb to the subject. As a black man the last thing you will ever hear me cry is that someone is a racist. It’s a waste of time because the people that are pulling the strings just sigh and roll their eyes when the subject comes up.


    The only thing that will take down the “Good Ole Boy” network is time. I’ve been given a lot of crap from ignorant contractors and allied professionals over the years, but that stuff doesn’t faze me. I’m not looking for acceptance or respect from them. I just do my job and kill them with kindness. As long as they don’t try to get in my way, they’ll avoid running into a buzz saw.

    Trace One

    nrschmid, your argument, your experience is not in contradistinction to ours – it is the same..Why do you deny us that we have experienced discrimination – that is silly.


    and by the way, as a landscraper in the Hampton in the nineties, and eighties, I really felt like the gay mens club had shut everybody else out…

    Your anger, while justified, should not deny our similarities..I never could understand why Prop 8 passed in Ca.  – did black americans really  not feel sympathy for gay americans – was it the black vote that denied gays equality? I think the jury is out on that one…

    But I think it is the human condition, and we need to look deeper at human nature..Discrimination on all levels should not be allowed..Yet it is human nature (male nature? extovert nature? to form groups that exclude..

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