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Exploring and discussing a variety of relationship topics and issues for people in all kinds of relationships; including partnerships, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, roommates and more.

Feb 5, 2019

Mana Vermeulen-McLeod is a fascinating woman who can talk about everything from hairstyles to the different types of chainsaws. She is a tree worker, carpenter, and conflict mediator at Earthaven Ecovillagewhere she has resided since 2007. Originally from Holland, Mana is an advocate for The Work that Reconnects, a staff member at the Southeast Wise Women’s Herbal Conference, and a student adviser for Gaia University. After a decade of being part of her community and facilitating conflict resolution, Mana currently focuses on supporting and helping others create the life they want, grounded in authenticity, through her life coaching practice.


Mana joins me today to share her experience as a woman working in male-dominated workplaces and discuss the physical challenges women face in the tree-working and carpentry industry. We dive into stories on the challenges she and her husband faced while working together as colleagues in the tree industry and how their relationship grew and flourished. We also discuss the other side of the coin on this topic as Mana flips questions back at me, since my work in therapy is a female dominated industry where I use a lot of feminine energy such as nurturing, listening, and empathy.


“Masculine energy the container. The feminine energy is what is inside of that container that gets to blossom if it’s in a good and safe container.” - Mana Vermeulen-McLeod


This week on Relationships! Let’s Talk About It:


  • Her first few experiences as a woman carpenter and how she gained experience in the industry.
  • When mentoring and apprenticeship are more educational compared to “formal” education.
  • How much of her overall experience was good and positive.
  • How she keeps it light in the workplace so she can be part of the “boy’s club.”
  • The pattern she recognized that she needs to change.
  • Why she felt relief when she eventually gave up the impulse to lead her husband while working together.
  • How having boundaries allowed her to blossom.
  • How she responds to situations when she gets downplayed by others for being a woman.
  • How her Arkansas tree work employment paved the way for more employment opportunities for women.
  • Why it’s important for her to calmly talk about her husband and maintain friendships among her colleagues.
  • The significance that the male and female energy play regarding decision-making on which trees to cut or nurture.
  • The pay structure and what it’s going to take for women to acquire higher compensation.
  • Why she’d rather work with men in tree work and how she sets boundaries.
  • One of the rewarding niche markets she landed in when she did carpentry.
  • The different attitudes men and women have towards leaders or instructors.
  • Advice for men on the crew regarding how to treat women.
  • The new and different path she’s currently leading.
  • How she balanced the feminine and masculine sides of her herself.
  • What Authentically You is about.


Connect with Mana Vermeulen-McLeod:




Let’s Talk About It!


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Theme music “These Streets” provided by Adi the Monk



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