Introducing Women In Trees

Jessica Cofer Blog

If you joined us at TCI EXPO in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last week, you heard our exciting announcement introducing Women In Trees, a new NATS program created for women, taught by women. As the leading arboriculture safety and training organization, we are excited to move the needle forward in our industry with this new initiative. 

The impetus in creating Women In Trees is we have found, through research and experience, that women learn differently than their male counterparts, and women learn best when provided a non-biased platform for dialogue and discussion. 

When talking about the arboriculture industry Emily Roberts, one of the Women In Trees Lead Instructors with more than 11 years of experience as a chainsaw operator and arboriculture professional, recalled, “It was six years that I was in this industry before I met another female arborist. I’m super excited that there’s a lot of females coming into this industry right now, and anything that we can do to support them in that endeavor is worthwhile, because we know how hard it can be.”

Our Women In Trees program sets itself apart from other training programs by providing a non-competitive, non-biased environment that allows participants to freely engage in dialog with like-minded colleagues and qualified instructors of their same gender. The program provides hands-on learning opportunities; facilitates training that supports diverse learning styles and ergonomics unique to women; and encourages women to support and inspire each other both professionally and personally.

Four of our NATS instructors are leading the charge and instructing the Women In Trees courses. In addition to Emily, there’s Marcy Carpenter, an Assistant Instructor who has been with NATS since 2015 and has more than 14 years of experience as an arborist, climber and chainsaw operator; Assistant Instructor Rebecca Seibel, with more than 20 years of experience as an arborist and production climber who joined NATS in 2018; and Rachel Brudzinski, an Assistant Instructor who has been with NATS since 2016 and brings more than 9 years of experience as a production arborist and climber to the table.

Over the past decade, Marcy states “she has seen a significant increase in women’s interest in the arboriculture industry.”

“I’ve watched it (the industry) evolve,” she said. “Women are coming in and they’re doing the work really well, they are climbing, cutting, rigging and they’re holding their own in the industry.”

When asked what she enjoys most about training others, Marcy said, “I enjoy having the opportunity to work with other individuals who are passionate about caring for trees, working at height and love being outdoors.

“It’s such a gift to be able to teach and also learn from the women that we train,” she added. “This is not just my job, it’s my career, my profession, and my passion. Simply put, I love what I do!”

We are launching Women In Trees with three specific courses custom-tailored for women: Chainsaw Safety and Cutting Techniques, Ground Worker Safety, and Technical Tree Climbing. These courses are similar in content to those we have been offering for years, but have been modified to better-fit women specific issues.

“I think, when given the opportunity, females are really good at this job (arboriculture), and that’s pretty surprising for a lot of people,” explained Emily. “It’s not all about being super strong and burly. Some of it is, for sure, as it’s a damn tough job. But women tend to use their head more rather than just trying to muscle through it.

But, we’re (women) good at it: we plan, we’re detail-oriented, and we are situationally-aware people. It’s pretty cool,” she added. 

The dates for our Women In Trees courses for the 2020 calendar are being finalized, and will be posted soon. To be sure you’re in the loop when all of our classes go live on the calendar, be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter and email updates, and check the Training Schedule page of our website. For more information about Women In Trees, please email or call us: info@natstraining.com, 888-652-9116.