The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is marking International Women’s Day with the launch of its drive to improve equality and inclusion in the UK’s horticulture sector.
The trade body that represents businesses across the country is to make diversity a key push in 2023. The drive will cover communications, external engagement and member support, and will include what the HTA itself is doing on equality and existing leadership in the sector. This will be expanded into more specific member advice and wider discussion, followed by data gathering to benchmark horticulture and track future progress.
Anne Clark, Director of HR & Learning at the HTA said: “The horticulture sector has championed a number of new initiatives aimed at becoming more inclusive in recent years, such as Access All Areas and Women in Horticulture. Whilst we celebrate the progress that’s been made, we also have a responsibility to keep that conversation and action going, so we’re pleased to be launching this promotional drive today that will include refreshing our own approach as well as scaling up the guidance and resources we offer to members.”
The HTA’s latest full Member Wages & Labour Benchmarking survey, conducted in 2021, showed that women make up 64% of the permanent workforce in garden centres and 44% of the permanent workforce in ornamental grower businesses. Across both garden centres and ornamental growers, 44% of senior roles are held by women. HTA members and non-members alike take part in the annual survey, which acts as a benchmark against which horticultural businesses can examine their DEI credentials, as well as their salaries, HR practices and talent recruitment and retention levels.
A separate survey, conducted by YouGov for the HTA in 2022, found that 28% of women in the UK regularly garden in their spare time as a hobby, compared to the national average of 25%. 70% of women who responded to the survey had visited a garden centre at least once in the last year, with 84% reporting that gardens and public green spaces benefit their state of mind, compared to the national average of 81%.