PWIPM is one facet of many IDEA initiatives


October 17, 2023

Marillian Missiti

Marillian Missiti

Looking back on its history, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is standing on the brink of an exciting new era, ready to reshape the world of inclusivity, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) in the pest management industry. With a strong track record of supporting members from various backgrounds, the NPMA is now focusing on the future, aiming to achieve significant progress in representation and innovation within the field.

In the past, like many other industries, the pest management sector was mostly dominated by men. To address this, the NPMA took a significant step in 1988 by officially establishing what is now known as the Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM). This was a pivotal moment that brought diversity and inclusion to the forefront for the NPMA and its members.

Expanding its focus

The NPMA also has been a leader in recognizing that advancing diversity and inclusivity requires more comprehensive efforts beyond gender representation alone. The organization expanded its focus to encompass a broader spectrum of underrepresented groups with the creation of the Diversity Council, including individuals from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, as well as individuals with disabilities. This inclusive approach is geared toward creating a welcoming and equitable environment for all professionals within the industry. (Editor’s Note: For more on this topic, see p. 68.)

NPMAAs it expands its horizons, the NPMA is venturing on a path of outreach and collaboration, broadening its vision. By partnering with organizations such as Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), the NPMA is creating opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to join the pest management industry. Through scholarships, mentorship and collaborative initiatives, the association is forging connections that bridge historical gaps, ushering in a new era of improved representation and engagement.

Extending its reach

Looking ahead, the future of the NPMA and the industry at large promises to be a vibrant and dynamic one in terms of diversity. As the NPMA continues to champion inclusivity and equity, the organization is set to extend its reach beyond conventional boundaries. This expansion involves embracing a diverse range of voices, backgrounds and perspectives, fostering an environment where every individual can contribute their unique talents and experiences.

The industry is poised to undergo a transformative shift, with a workforce that reflects the community it serves. By actively seeking out and nurturing talent from all walks of life, the NPMA envisions an industry where collaboration thrives, innovation flourishes and solutions are cultivated through a multitude of viewpoints. This commitment isn’t just a fleeting endeavor; it’s a lasting investment that will shape the industry’s trajectory for the better over the next two decades and beyond.

About the Author

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Missiti is president of Buono Pest Control Co., Belmont, Mass., and is the 2023-2024 president of the National Pest Management Association. She may be reached at

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