International Women’s Day: 100+ Leading Women in Horticulture 2023

Clare Matterson, RHS director general

As we celebrate another International Women’s Day (8 March 2023), HortWeek is once again honouring some of the incredible women in our industry.

The Landscape Institute’s Skills for Greener Places report, which reviewed skills and workforce issues, revealed that the landscape sector is male-dominated. It found management and build have the highest male concentrations, at 99.6% and 86.7% of their respective totals. Research, education and policy are the only areas of activity where there is a higher proportion of females than males, at 52.5%.

When analysing annual salaries, the report found that men consistently earn more than women, even in comparative roles. According to the research, 19% of males in entry-level roles earn more than £35,000pa, compared with 5% of females; 58% of males in mid-level roles earn more than £35,000pa, compared with 48% of females; and 63% of males in senior-level roles earn more than £45,000pa, compared with 45% of females.

This pay gap exists despite women generally tending to be higher skilled than men, with 85% of female survey respondents having a masters or above, compared with 73% for males.

This year’s theme, #EmbraceEquity, opens up a conversation around why equal opportunities are not enough. With equity recognising that each person has different circumstances, resources and opportunities can be given to achieve an equal outcome. 

In conjunction with the global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, HortWeek has updated its 100 Leading Women in Horticulture (listed alphabetically):

  • Rosemary Alexander, English Garden School
  • Sue Allen, Greenfingers chair and Millbrook founder
  • Arit Anderson, TV gardener
  • Kate Ashbrook, Open Spaces Society
  • Melanie Asker, Greenwood Plants managing director
  • Claire Austin, Claire Austin Plants
  • Jane Barker, Dalefoot
  • Fran Barnes, HTA chief executive officer
  • Heather Barrett-Mold, horticulture education consultant
  • Mandy Barrie, Caulders Garden Centres
  • Minette Batters, NFU president
  • Claire Belderbos, Belderbos Landscapes sales and marketing director
  • Jinny Blom, designer
  • Sandra Botterell, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew director of marketing and commercial
  • Val Bourne, writer
  • Christine Burton, Bransford Webbs
  • Ali Capper, British Apples & Pears
  • Thérèse Coffey, Defra secretary of state
  • Gill Corless, Sakata
  • Sally Cullimore, HTA
  • Sarah Daniel, Pengelly, HTA Council Devon/Cornwall 
  • Hannah Darby, Darby Nursery Stock
  • Catherine Dawson, Melcourt
  • Rachel de Thame, TV gardener
  • Fiona Dean, Ravensworth and HTA Council Yorkshire/North West
  • Charlie Dimmock, TV gardener
  • Stephanie Dunn-James, director Frank P Matthews
  • Sally Drury, HortWeek technical editor
  • Sarah Eberle, garden designer/RHS Council
  • Jill England, ADAS
  • Madeleine Evans, Plants at Work chair
  • Jodie Fedorko, The Leicestershire Garden Design/BALI Go Landscape ambassador
  • Jane Findlay, Landscape Institute immediate past president
  • Tamara Finkelstein, Defra permanent secretary
  • Sharon Fisher, BBC Gardeners’ World/RHS Chelsea Flower Show series producer
  • Catherine FitzGerald, garden designer
  • Pat Flynn, Commercial Horticultural Association
  • Alys Fowler, garden writer
  • Penny Fryer, Boningale
  • Beverley Glover, Cambridge University Botanic Garden director
  • Kay Green, Stihl GB managing director
  • Pippa Greenwood, HTA horticulture manager
  • Rebecca Grant, Rochfords and HTA Council Home Counties
  • Bunny Guinness, garden designer/writer
  • Rosy Hardy, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants
  • Charlotte Harris, garden designer
  • Trudy Harrison, Defra minister
  • Mollie Higginson, New Leaf and HTA Council West Midlands
  • Nicole Higginson, New Leaf Plants director
  • Penelope Hobhouse, garden writer
  • Catherine Horwood, writer
  • Christine Howard, Howard Nurseries
  • Laura Jackson, (Swarkestone) HTA Council East Midlands
  • Yvonne Jarman, Hayloft director/founder
  • Dr Gemma Jerome, Building with Nature director
  • Tessa Johnstone, Johnstone Landscapes/BALI diversity director
  • Carol Klein, TV gardener
  • Joy Larkcom, writer
  • Jane Lawler, HTA board 
  • Arabella Lennox Boyd, garden designer
  • Sharon Lowndes, Fairweathers
  • Lynne Marcus, Society of Garden Designers co-chair
  • Fiona Marley, Whetmans
  • Clare Matterson, RHS director general
  • Michelle Maybury, Continental Landscapes executive director
  • Hilary McGrady, National Trust director general
  • Jekka McVicar, grower/writer
  • Sarah Millington, Hillview Hardy Plants
  • Sue Minter, horticultural consultant
  • Sirekit Moi, Beekenkamp
  • Sarah Morgan, Society of Garden Designers past chair
  • Kim Morrish, Ground Control director 
  • Suzanne Moss, RHS education and learning head
  • Louise Motala, Bridge Farm Group managing director
  • Susan Nicholas, president of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture 
  • Clare Norman (B&Q), HTA Council central south
  • Vicky Nuttall, Garden Industry Manufacturers Association director
  • Duchess of Northumberland, The Alnwick Garden founder
  • Caroline Owen, Scotsdale managing director
  • Anna Pavord, writer
  • Sue Payne, Q&S Commercial Landscaping co-managing director
  • Linda Petrons, Greenfingers
  • Helena Pettit, RHS gardens and shows director
  • Jennifer Pheasey, HTA public affairs director
  • Meredith Pierce Hunter, Kew Foundation director
  • Rachel Poletti-Gadd, River Street Events (Gardeners’ World Live)
  • Nat Porter, Young People in Horticulture Association/Happy Plants
  • Rebecca Pow, Defra minister
  • Ann-Marie Powell, garden designer
  • Sarah Price, garden designer
  • Charmay Prout, Flavourfresh
  • Nicola Pugh, HTA Council Wales
  • Sarah Raven, garden broadcaster/businesswoman/RHS Council
  • Marian Regan, Hugh Lowe Farms
  • Advolly Richmond, garden historian
  • Juliet Sargeant, garden designer, author, garden broadcaster, Society of Garden Designers former chair
  • Barbara Segall, writer
  • Amanda Sizer Barrett, Gardenex
  • Lady Christine Skelmersdale, Broadleigh Gardens
  • Helen MacDonald (Merryhatton), HTA Council Scotland
  • Pam Smith, National Trust
  • Marian Spain, Natural England chief executive
  • Nicola Spence, chief plant health officer
  • Carolyn Spray, Pentland Plants
  • Sarah Squire, Squire’s
  • Phillippa Stubbs, British Garden Centres
  • Anne Swithinbank, broadcaster
  • Gill Tacchi, HTA Council East Anglia
  • Fiona Taylor, Garden Organic
  • Jo Thompson, garden designer
  • Xa Tollemache, garden designer/RHS Council
  • Sally van der Horst, Fleuroselect
  • Alex Vick, HTA senior executive director
  • Christine Walkden, TV gardener
  • Christina Walker, Four Oaks Trade Show sales and marketing
  • Tamsin Westhorpe, author/writer
  • Ruth Willmott, garden designer/RHS Council
  • Sarah Wilson, Roots and All
  • Melanie Wood, ​Fargro and founder of Women in Horticulture UK
  • Tammy Woodhouse, Garden Centre Association chair/Millbrook managing director
  • Holly Youde, Association of Professional Landscapers chair

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