Supporting International Women’s Day
ECHO tools UK is proud to support International Women’s Day. We first met Katie Longley last year, when she switched to ECHO battery power tools. She talked about joining her father’s business and what it was like to work in a male dominated environment. So, who better to interview then Katie for #iwd2021.
“As a female working in what seems a male dominated industry, I’ve personally had challenges to over come. In the past, I have been perceived by people to be less knowledgeable and capable of undertaking the same work of which males in this same industry would do. My father in the past has even been asked by clients m if I’m capable of the larger, heavier tasks before giving me a chance to show how capable I actually am! I’ve always asked myself why is this? Could it be because I’m female… To say the least and whatever the reason, this is frustrating! So right from day one this has made me more determined than ever to learn all I can about this industry, to show I can be just as knowledgeable and capable.
I started working for my fathers business (AJL Garden Services) in 2016 after leaving a job that wasn’t what I had hoped it to be. Working for the business was only a temporary move as a career in law was always something I had planned to do after completing my law degree. 5 years on, and having just had a baby, I’m still working for the business and loving my job!
I’m constantly learning to expand my knowledge, this either by reading and researching new innovative technology available to make my working day easier and more efficient, discovering new plants and learning how to care for them to getting great tips and advice from my father who is a fountain of knowledge, and who has been working in horticulture for 33 years with previous experience in agriculture, carving his way to a successful business of his own for the last 18years which I am helping to expand with my own ideas and ways of working. I find like in most industries learning is never ending and that’s what keeps me engaged and loving my job.
A typical day for me can be something small such as office work, growing plants, fruit and veg to topiary trimming along with push mowing. With larger scale jobs involving ride on mowing and hedge cutting. Let’s just say I’m not afraid to get up a ladder if needed! I may be small in stature but I’m just as capable and confident undertaking all the big heavy tasks that come with this job!
My top tip would be to switch from petrol to battery operated machinery, it’s a game changer and doesn’t compromise on quality of work! Battery equipment has advanced so much in recent years, the batteries last longer periods of time, are lightweight and still give a professional finish. I’ve found that ECHO battery tools in particular are a great alternative to petrol. I currently use the 50V battery range, specifically their hedgecutter. It has an excellent power-to-weight ratio and the long reach is just what I need to tackle taller hedges. Although, there are still many other ECHO battery products I need put to the test!
My advice to anyone wanting to work in this industry would be to keep expanding your knowledge, learn all you can and just get out there and do it, never be told you can’t by anyone but instead carry on working hard to prove them wrong and show you can. Working in this industry has been so fulfilling for me and I’ve proved to myself and others that I’m just as capable!”
If you’re looking to start a career in landscaping just like Katie, and are thinking about selecting the tools you need in your tool kit, visit your local ECHO dealer to find out more. They stock a vast range of battery and petrol outdoor power equipment, as well as accessories, PPE and consumables.