Believe it or not, the number of women in the print industry is growing.
This is my favorite article of the year. And I get to let go of all the built-up “why aren’t there more women in our industry” complaints. But guess what, this year, it’s all different!
Preparing for an article starts with making lists; at least, that’s the way I work. A few weeks ago, I started with a list of my favorite women in the printing industry, both office imaging and production/transactional printing. And while writing this year’s list, I realized something. There are more women than ever around!
Here’s the challenge: My articles usually have around 700 words. My list exceeds this number by far! And I am happy! I couldn’t be happier even if I had 1,000 words. Why? Every year, there are more women in the industry, and more and more of these women are decision-makers, influencers, innovators, movers, and shakers.
Women in Print Leaders
So let me name a few of the ladies I have had the honor of working with for many, many years now:
Mary Ann Rowan, CXO (Chief Experience Officer) of Solimar Systems and the company’s representative around the world. Her in-depth knowledge of everything production print and transactional printing inspires me day in and day out.
Maggie Curry, national manager production printing systems, RISO. As far as I know, she is the only woman on the RISO Valezus sales team. Her energy is captivating, her knowledge vast, and her storytelling–you better meet her at a conference and see for yourself.
Pat McGrew, managing director, McGrewGroup. What can I say about Pat that hasn’t been said before? Any question, any trend, any you-name-it, she either knows it or is onto it within seconds.
And then there are such incredible women like Joanne Gore, Joanne Gore Communications; Lois Ritarossi; High Rock Strategies; Elizabeth Gooding, Inkjet Insights; Patricia Ames and Amy Weiss, BPO Media; Holly Muscolino, IDC; Louella Fernandes, Quocirca; Anne Valaitis and Deborah Hawkins, Keypoint Intelligence; Carolina Shay, Axioma Comunicaciones; and Petra Beck, Infosource—to name but a few of these women who continually and constantly generously share knowledge, know-how, facts, and insights with all of us.
Next up, there’s the next generation of company leaders, taking over their fathers’ businesses and mastering the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, like my wonderful friend Farrah Walker, of Perfect Output. She’s one of many giving well-established businesses new faces and, in many cases, new identities.
And my all-time favorite, the GreatAmerica Financial Services team consisting, among many others, of such strong women like Jennie Fisher, Tawnya Stone, and Josie Heskje.
And not to forget Kyocera’s Sarah Henderson and Joni Mosteller, HP’s Kris Albee, Ligia Mora at Crawford Technologies, or Xerox’s Liz Vega and her UK colleague Rachel Wicks, and, of course, Canon’s Lucy Perez! And so on and so on and so on.
And then, we have all the unnamed women working in the background, often unseen, servicing devices, making printers print, filling envelopes, filling toner cartridges, writing, testing, installing, and supporting the software that makes all the magic happen—you outperform so many of your male colleagues without making a fuss about it.
I know I can’t mention all of my fabulous female friends and colleagues here; too many I had to leave unmentioned, but every single one of you is important to me and the industry. All of you help make this industry better, with many more changes to come and a strong future for even more women to find their place in it. The printing industries offer careers that are challenging and rewarding at the same time.
Do we have enough women in the industry? Definitely not. We are still far outnumbered by our male colleagues. Does it scare us away? Most certainly not. And here’s the good news for any woman wanting to join the office imaging or the production printing world: We’re there for you. We’d love to welcome you, make you one of us, and give you all the support you need so you can achieve your ambitious goals.
But how can I end my column without mentioning the one and only Carol Cannata? It’s hard to find the right words to describe her and how much she inspires, not just myself. She’s so many things—style, creativity, diplomacy, and one of the strongest women I’ve ever met. Thank you for being you!