I just let my work speak for itself.
In honor of International Women’s Day, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is sharing stories about women in the arboriculture profession throughout the month of March to honor their contributions to the industry.
Katie Curwen is an ISA Certified Arborist® and the co-owner of Arbor Ace Tree Care, a small family-owned tree care company in Lancaster, United Kingdom.
In addition to being co-owner, Curwen also covers all roles on a tree care team—a grounds person, climber, sales person and administration.
Born in Canada, Curwen graduated from Fleming College where she was introduced to arboriculture by a friend in the arboriculture program.
“She asked if I wanted to climb this sugar maple out front and I did,” Curwen said. “I was hooked.”
After graduating from Fleming College, Curwen completed an Arborist Apprenticeship Program at Humber College where she graduated with top honors. Since then she has served the tree care industry for more than 10 years.
Throughout her career, Curwen said there have been several memorable moments, “One of my most memorable times would be helping sort out storm damage in South Carolina, United States after Hurricane Matthew,” she said. “Another high ranking time would be climbing in my first Masters’ Challenge. What a nervous but exciting time for me.”
However, Curwen’s career has not been without its challenges.
“I am most proud of how I’ve handled any sexist or negative situation I’ve encountered in my career,” Curwen said. “I just let my work speak for itself.”
Although she’s encountered sexism, Curwen said that a person’s sex or gender shouldn’t matter.
“I don’t believe it is important for women to be in this industry,” she said. “I believe that it is important for people, regardless of how they identify themselves, to be in the industry. Gender shouldn’t matter.”
Even with its challenges, Curwen said she looks forward to the day when gender doesn’t matter.
“I hope to get to see them say where being a woman in any industry isn’t novel anymore.”
To learn more about women making an impact in the arboriculture industry, visit the ISA website.
Check out the other Women in Arboriculture profiles.