International Women's Week

Sunday, March 8th marks the start of International Women’s Week.

It is a week of celebration, education, and awareness surrounding gender and women’s issues and “… works to celebrate the important and impressive achievements of women globally.” According to the International Women’s Day website, this day has been occurring for well over a century and is about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.

It started in 1908 by the Socialist Party of America to protest women’s working conditions and voting rights. It was made official in the United States on February 28, 1909, then moved to March 8th in 1913. This remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since.

This year’s theme is #EachforEqual and “… is drawn from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism.’ We are all parts of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviors and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society. Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender equal world.”

Why Does it Matter?

According to a study by the United Nations (www.un.org), if you look at it just from an economic stand point, “Women’s and girls’ empowerment is essential to expand economic growth and promote social development. The full participation of women in labor forces would add percentage points to most national growth rates – double digits in many cases.”

Women in Pest Control

Although women have made great strides since the early years of the 20th century, there is still more to do, especially when it comes to entomology and pest control. According to a recent study of entomology employment published in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America, jobs in academia and government are disproportionately held by men. Even though women have earned more than 40% of doctoral degrees in the past decade, men still outnumber women 3-to-1 in jobs in the government and universities.

All that being said, it’s still a great time for women to find work in the pest control industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in our industry are expected to grow 20% through 2022 and require little to no experience needed. According to a group of women surveyed, 83% said that “the industry at-large has become more welcoming toward women since they began their career” and 93% agreed that “pest management is a good industry for women.”

If you’re a woman in pest control and you would like to be more involved in promoting entomology and pest control services, there are a couple of ways you can help. Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM) is an affiliate group of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) whose mission is to attract, develop and support women in the pest management industry through educational programs, resources and peer networking. Women in Pest Control (WIPC) is a Facebook group that was formed so women could gain valuable insight from other women, express challenges they may face, and offer support. The group was formed in May 2017 and within just two short years held their first ever WIPC Conference in August 2019. If you missed it last year, the date for their next conference will be held September 25, 2020 in Houston, TX.

Are you a woman working in the pest control industry? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences and share them as we promote International Women’s Week. Please email aramsey@pestroutes.com with your contact information and we'll be in touch.