The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has launched a new social media campaign to celebrate Women’s History Month that aims to connect woman practitioners in all stages of their respective careers while showcasing woman-led projects and prompting honest conversations about successes, and challenges, experienced by female landscape architects.
Unrolling across all ASLA social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest), the #Woman2Woman initiative is also set to include a virtual panel entitled “Hear Their Voices: Inspiring Stories from Women Leaders in Design Education.” Taking place on March 25, the Zoom-based webinar will feature four landscape architecture educators hailing from schools including Howard University, Boston Architectural College, Auburn University, and the University of Texas at Arlington coming together to “share their stories of leadership, resiliency, and empowerment as leaders and women of color in design education.” Samantha Solano, assistant professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is set to moderate the ASLA Committee on Education-hosted discussion.
Earlier in the month, on March 8, WxLA, an advocacy initiative for gender justice in landscape architecture founded in 2018 by Rebecca Leonard, Gina Ford, Cinda Gilliland, Steven Spears, and Jamie Maslyn Larson, will also host an International Women’s Day Instagram Takeover. Meanwhile, throughout March, the ASLA will take to social media to highlight “ASLA women professionals, from recent graduates to ASLA Fellows to ASLA honor recipients,” according to a press release.
This year, we’re hosting a Q&A for our readers to share your experiences as women in LA. Write your answers in the comment section with the #Woman2Woman hashtag and @nationalasla handle for a chance to be featured in our Instagram Stories series on March 31st! pic.twitter.com/KsUgBIrPNL
— American Society of Landscape Architects (@NationalASLA) March 1, 2021
“We hope that creating this space through the #Woman2Woman campaign will support and strengthen the community of strong, dedicated women within ASLA and the profession, as well as encourage other women to join,” said Eugenia Martin, ASLA President-Elect, in a statement.
The vital (yet often under-threat) contributions of woman landscape architects and designers were highlighted last October in The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)’s 2020 Landslide report. As noted in the report, women represent a healthy majority of graduate and undergraduate students at landscape architecture programs. However, that plurality doesn’t necessarily translate to professional work as male practitioners still outnumber their female counterparts in the field: As of 2018, roughly 35.5 percent of ASLA members are women. According to the report, even fewer women are principals at landscape architecture firms, ASLA Fellows, or, most significantly, BIPOC. Regardless of gender, only 10 percent of landscape architects, and 4 percent of ASLA members, identify as Hispanic or Latino while only three percent of practitioners (and 1 percent of ASLA members) identify as Black, according to the ASLA.
It’s also worth noting that the landscape architecture profession lost a noted female trailblazer late last year in the form of Boston-based Carol R. Johnson, an educator and industry leader. TCLF president and CEO Charles A. Birnbaum told AN in December, “created the first woman-owned practice of significant size, stature, and influence operating in the urban realm helping to shape and revitalize cities.”
Keep an eye on the ASLA’s #Woman2Woman campaign throughout March to hear from and learn more about the next generation of Carol R. Johnsons.