by Deborah Corn
Happy Women’s History Month… and more relevant for our purposes here, Women’s Print HERstory Month!
#PrintHERstoryMonth is a new initiative driven by Girls Who Print with the sole purpose of sharing stores and giving more visibility to all of the fierce, fabulous females who work in the industry. While the ratio of men and women working in print is still greatly skewed male, that should not detract from the amazing accomplishments of women in print. March is now dedicated to this subject matter starting this year and moving forward!
First and foremost, to hear some of these amazing stories I encourage you to click on over to the Girls Who Print podcast stream and share with #GirlsWhoPrint / #PrintHERStoryMonth.
This post, however, needs to start a little further back…
5 Ways to Help Attract and Keep Women in Print – Starting with You!
Support Students. The Graphic Communications programs are in trouble. Unless you want to spend time and money explaining RGB and CMYK to your new employees, it is time to STEP UP! Erica Walker from Clemson University gave the best advice for this during the annual Girls Who Print Leadership Panel in the Printerverse at PRINT 18. She said, “Reach out to the programs and ask how you can help and don’t give up. If one person doesn’t respond, try another, and another.” And the most important piece here is asking how you can help, not assuming that a donation of your equipment or software is helping. More likely than not, the schools are so far behind they cannot accept anything like that.
Grow Candidates. When I have the honor and privilege of speaking at colleges, the thing most noticeable is the dominating presence of female students in Graphic Communications programs. So where do they go?? – because they aren’t coming here. It is going to take a grassroots movement to attract them to this industry. Specialty Print Communications (SPC) is a stellar example of a company that is working directly with GC programs to support their recruiting efforts, and provide employment opportunities for graduates. Ryan LeFebvre has taken this on not only to help SPC attract the best-qualified candidates but to also encourage the female students to enter the industry and stay with us. He is my hero!
Clear Visibility. #PrintHerStoryMonth is not the only opportunity to share stories about Girls Who Print. There are 335 additional days to shine a light on what you do if you are a woman in print, or shine a light on your female employees. Make sure that the women in your organization have an opportunity to provide quotes in trade articles, and get featured in stories. It all matters, optically. If you cannot take this on, contact Journalist, PR and Communications expert Karis Copp to help. I recommend her, highly.
Share the Spotlight. Event after industry event, the panels, speakers and “experts” are dominated by men. It is just not cool anymore. We need diversity… now. And not just with gender, but with race, creed, orientation, and even geographical origin. We cannot grow as an industry if we don’t invite and attract new voices to add a new perspective and share from a place that is not familiar.
Play Fair. I attended THREADX in San Diego last month. THREADX is a play on TEDX, and they delivered. One of the more poignant takeaways came from a printer, Brian Adam, President of Olympus Group. He spoke about workforce development and retention by providing a top 10 list a la’ David Letterman. While all 10 points had relevance to any business owner in 2019, the one that stuck with me was this… and to paraphrase… ‘We don’t treat all employees equally, we treat them all fairly based upon their results’. That is a very attractive, modern and inclusive policy that gives equal opportunity to all employees. Think about adopting it. (2 Regular Guys and a Girl Who Prints THREADX podcast playlist)
NEED A MENTOR?? WANT TO BE A MENTOR??
Girls Who Print and The Printing Industries of America have joined forces to launch the Women’s Print Mentoring Network! Register now and let’s work together to leave no woman in print behind! Share this amazing resource with all the Girls Who Print in your life, Graphic Communications students and faculty.
I never forget that I write this post standing on the shoulders of all the women in print and beyond who paved the way for my voice to be heard. I humbly and gratefully thank you all.
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse™ at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist™, industry speaker and blogger, host of Podcasts from The Printerverse, cultivator of Print Production Professionals the #1 print group on LinkedIn, Head Girl in Charge (H.G.I.C.) at GirlsWhoPrint, host of #PrintChat every Wednesday at 4PM ET on Twitter, the founder of International Print Day and the founder of #ProjectPeacock. She is the recipient of several industry honors including the 2016 Girls Who Print Girlie Award and sits on the boards of the Advertising Production Club of NYC and The Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi.
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