Four Equity Ambassadors appointed by the Landscaping Association

The British Landscape Industries Association (BALI) has appointed four Equity Ambassadors to support them in their vision to bring about positive change and improve accessibility for all in the landscape industry.

The Ambassadors, all key industry spokespersons, have been brought together to help transcend perceptions of what it takes to work in the industry and make a real difference in achieving a workforce broader and more representative.

The four ambassadors spoke at the Association’s inaugural ‘Access All Areas’ Inclusion and Diversity Roundtable, held in London last December.

The event, the first of its kind, was a thought-provoking discussion and the audience heard about the panel’s experiences and their careers in horticulture. Facilitators were able to explore the perceived barriers faced by those who are considered to be outside the mainstream.

The ambassadors are:

Manoj Malde, award-winning garden designer, TV presenter, speaker and HRH judge

Mark Lane TV gardening presenter, landscaper and writer

Ashley Edwards, graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and head gardener at Horatio’s Garden in London. Speaker on BBC Radio 4 Gardener’s Question Time and Chairman of the London Gardens Network

Flo Headlam, horticulturist, designer and first black presenter on BBC’s Gardeners’ World

The British Landscape Industries Association is committed to ensuring that all those already working in the industry as well as those considering entering are treated equally. The Association is keen to ensure that everyone from all walks of life can be part of the industry. No one should be excluded on grounds of race, age, gender, disability or religion.

Tessa Johnstone, Board Director (Diversity), said: “The past two years have seen the need for many to adjust to different careers. Now is a good time to launch a strategy that defines the range of roles in landscaping and pathways for progression through initiatives such as GoLandscape, highlighting the expanded range of people these roles can appeal to.

Tessa continued, “We need to embrace a new paradigm and look at how we deliver our systems and processes to ensure an equitable future for landscaping, supporting those who are already part of this incredible industry. We will strive to attract and retain the most diverse talents and those who best reflect our society.

The four ambassadors agreed to support the Association in its efforts. They are powerful and persuasive advocates who can support BALI in its determination to open up the industry, not just with insightful conversations, but with realistic actions.

The four ambassadors are committed to making an impact towards positive change. The British Landscape Industries Association would like to thank all Ambassadors for their support and in turn promises to welcome more people who wish to enter our industry.

Terri S. Tomasini