No. 33: Blazing Trails
It is a privilege to present our fourth annual Women Influencers issue, presented by AMETEK ESP, celebrating and raising awareness of the talented women who hold prominent leadership roles in our industry. This industry has certainly made great strides in diversifying its upper echelons of company management, but we’re constantly reminded it hasn’t always been this way and we still are working toward creating work environments that reflect the customers we serve.
As you well know, over the past 20 years, this industry has continued to evolve and change, particularly when it comes to promoting women to more senior positions. Just look at Canon, GreatAmerica, HP, Konica Minolta, and Sharp. We’re also pleased to report that more women are becoming increasingly visible at industry events—both in attendance and on the main stage—presenting and representing their companies. While women may still be in the minority, our industry’s wheels of change are turning and turning for the better in our opinion. To keep those wheels turning, we feel it is our obligation as a publication and an organization that values diversity to write about and acknowledge the women at the forefront of this change. We view these women as Wonder Women because, as many of them will acknowledge, it hasn’t always been easy navigating the challenges of working in and rising to prominence in what is still a male-dominated industry.
As someone who has worked in this industry for more than 30 years, I vividly remember when women holding key executive positions were scarce, or non-existent, at least as far as I could tell. When I first started in the mid 1980s and on through the 1990s, there were more than a few women in the industry. Some were my peers on the editorial side, while others were working for public relations firms representing companies in our industry or they held marketing communications positions within those companies. Rarely did I encounter a woman in an executive position not related to public relations, internal communications, or editorial. That’s been one of the positive changes I feel fortunate to have witnessed within our industry during the last decade or so.
This month, we are proud to highlight Canon’s Valerie Belli, PSIGEN’s Victoria Hensley, and Konica Minolta’s Ekta Sahasi. These three Women Influencers are not only examples of the shift in company dynamics, but they are also driving innovation and change themselves through their actions and performance. They are integral to the success of each of their respective companies, and their work is paving a solid path for our industry’s future. We are proud to feature these three accomplished women in this issue and we hope you are as inspired as we are by these influential leaders.