March 15, 2015
Minister announces funding to help women succeed in green industry
From left, following the minister’s announcement, are Abhimanyu Verma, volunteer chair for Microskills, Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Tony DiGiovanni and Jane Wilson, project coordinator at Microskills.
Community MicroSkills Development Centre is receiving $250,000 to support the economic success of women in the landscape and horticulture industries through new mentorship opportunities.

Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, announced the federal government funding on Feb. 6, saying that Community MicroSkills Development Centre will collaborate with women, industry representatives such as Landscape Ontario, and local employers, to pilot and formalize a mentorship model in the landscape and horticulture sectors.

The Centre will focus in the Greater Toronto Area, Durham, and Wellington/Waterloo. It will address the barriers to advancement for women in these sectors such as biased perceptions of women’s capabilities, or lack of business and social networks. Employers will be involved in all phases of the project, and a key collaboration with Landscape Ontario will see its regional chapters directly engaged in the design, piloting and evaluation of the mentorship model.

In talking with Minister Leitch at the funding announcement, LO executive director Tony DiGiovanni said she told him she would like to send letters of support to women in ownership or management positions.

Says DiGiovanni, “Last week I spoke with Dr. Leitch about our industry and to thank her for supporting our sector. Landscape Ontario is currently compiling a database of women in the horticulture industry, and asks women to join at Minister Leitch wants to send letters of support to women in green industry ownership or management, and intiate a mentorship program.