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Business Owners & Managers

Women in the Industry - Caety James, Part Two

"The more women create content and use their voices among our male peers, the easier it will be for women to provide their perspective to the lawn and landscape networks."

Caety James is a Sales Director of Picture Perfect Lawn Maintenance, a family owned and operated business in Greater Richmond, VA area. With the launch of PPLM YouTube channel, Caety quickly became the face of the company.

In Part Two we talk to Caety about the importance of empowering women in a male-dominated industry.

Caety, some people believe there is a bias against females in landscaping, but you don't hesitate to give your business a female face through your videos. Would you say that it has helped grow the business?

I think that giving Picture Perfect Lawn Maintenance female representation with the public has absolutely been an asset to our company. Picture Perfect's owners and founders, Jimmy and Lisa, are a strong married couple that lends great balance and support to each other.

Lisa is inarguably the driving force behind our operations, so PPLM has always had a strong woman at the table, which is one of the things I love about the company.

I've definitely had experiences that were clearly related to a gender-based bias. For the most part, these experiences have now become further motivation to bring success to what PPLM is doing.

However, for every one negative experience, I've had multiple great experiences. It's given me the chance to counter any negative assumption about how knowledgeable a woman can be about lawn and landscape maintenance. It has also made other clients (usually women) more comfortable and communicative than they would naturally be with a man they didn't know.

Both at ECHO Means Business and other sites, we often see a tremendous amount of activity from male landscapers, but not so much women pros. Do you think this can be changed?

In the forums and groups I follow, I've also seen the strong majority of active professionals being men. While I have met and networked with female applicators and landscapers who have proven themselves to be beyond resourceful and successful, they're usually less inclined to be vocal in group settings that are so dominated by men.

It's what happens in a lot of industries that are male-dominated, but over time, many of those other industries have had confident women pull a chair to the table and make a space for our voices to be heard.

I have no doubt that the more women continue to earn and create leadership and customer relation positions in lawn and landscape maintenance, and the more these women create content and use their voices among our male peers, the easier it will be for women to provide their perspective to the lawn and landscape networks.

Do you think the culture of women empowering movements of the last few years has had an impact on the landscaping industry?

I definitely hope it has! Like most industries that involve outdoor labor, lawn care, and landscape maintenance have a longstanding reputation of being largely owned, managed, and represented by white men.

The equality movements over the last few years have shown great light on representation issues that our industry could absolutely benefit from. For any industry, ours included, shutting out potential leaders and innovators due to prejudices only limits what can be achieved and makes a company less relatable to the diverse customers that it serves.

I think the efforts being made to create a nationwide dialogue about modern equality has given many women the courage to pursue industries like landscaping and lawn care that have been hard to break into in the past, and I hope they continue to do so.

What advice would you give women who are interested in entering the landscaping industry?

For any woman wanting to pursue an interest in lawn care or landscape maintenance, be it fertilizer, mowing, hardscaping, or anything else, my biggest advice would be to embrace who you are and what you know.

In my experience, being confident as a knowledgeable and professional person has been just as important as being confident as a woman. Most of the experiences I have had networking with other professionals in the industry, as well as meeting with leads and clients, has been a very warm reception and enthusiasm to meet a woman who has good energy in such a challenging industry.

Be knowledgeable, be confident... and follow me on YouTube!

About Caety: Caety James is a Sales Director of Picture Perfect Lawn Maintenance in Greater Richmond area. Caety represents the company and is largely responsible for sales, client communication, and their YouTube channel. See more from Caety and PPLM on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Read Part One of this interview to learn more about Caety and her inspirations.

Are you (or do you know) a woman professional in the lawn care and landscaping industry, or know a women-owned business? We'd love to hear your story - you can share it with us by using the "Tell Us Your Story" section at the bottom of our home page.