Nicky Turner, President of Professional Women in Australian Pest Management, looks ahead to 2020. 

Fresh into 2020, I have reflected on how much Professional Women in Australian Pest Management (PWAPM) has achieved in its first 12 months. Last year was a huge year with conferences, trade shows, membership drives, the International Women’s Day event and the launch of the PWAPM Excellence Award. All of which would not have been possible without the copious amount of support received from the industry.

The original objective of PWAPM was to provide a support group and networking opportunities to women in pest management. However, the organisation has diversified; our values remain the same but our purpose and reach has expanded. As well as support and networking, there is a shared desire to increase the number of women in our industry. The constant feedback we received at the trade shows was around how vital women are to this industry, with many people asking ‘How do we recruit more females?’ The PWAPM Committee has spent a lot of time engaging with members – who all have different roles within the pest management industry – to really understand what PWAPM can help achieve.

The past four months have seen the PWAPM Committee being involved with the Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM) organisation in the US. I was excited to attend and represent PWAPM at the annual PWIPM networking breakfast held in San Diego at the Pestworld conference in October, alongside Kylee Enwright (winner of the very first PWAPM Excellence Award).

Nicky Turner, president of PWAPM, with Marillian Missiti, secretary of the National Pest Management Association in the US

Over in the US, PWIPM has 24 active chapters (associated organisations) and five chapters internationally. I am pleased that Professional Women in Australian Pest Management is one of these international chapters and it was a privilege to meet so many women from the other chapters worldwide. I look forward to strengthening PWAPM’s relationship with them in the future and opening many more doors for our members. Many women from the other chapters have also joined the PWAPM closed Facebook group, so I encourage everyone to make them feel welcome.

Excitement is already mounting around this year’s AEPMA Conference, particularly for women in pest management. We are about to launch the PWAPM 2020 Excellence Award with nominations opening on April 15. The winner will be announced at the conference gala dinner to be held in September at The Star Gold Coast, with BASF kindly sponsoring the award for the second year. Details of the award and nominations can be found on the PWAPM website.

The 2020 AEPMA Conference will see PWAPM hold the first annual PWAPM networking breakfast. Women attending the conference will be invited to come and connect with other women in the industry, making it a valuable opportunity to spend time with other like- minded female professionals. Having attended similar breakfasts at the previous two Pestworld conferences in the US, I can personally vouch for how rewarding these events can be. Several female leaders will be speaking at the breakfast and there’s an opportunity to meet some of the 2020 PWAPM Excellence Award finalists.

BASF will be the major sponsor for this networking event in addition to the Excellence Award. PWAPM would like to thank BASF for their ongoing support of the industry and our associations, awards and events, which rely on the valued contributions of our key supply partners.

In 2020 we plan to dig a little deeper into some of the issues our members regularly highlight. These include CRMs and booking systems, female support, training, technology and business management. Whilst we hear a lot of similar feedback from a variety of sources, this year we aim to gather statistical data on these subjects by introducing some surveys. I would like to encourage everyone to get actively involved with this.

Along with the rest of the PWAPM Committee, I am very excited to be continuing the work that we began in 2019 and look forward to announcing a number of events for 2020. Those interested in becoming a member of PWAPM can visit our website for more information.

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