A must-read issue in more ways than one

Jo Francis
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Jo Francis celebrates the talented women making their mark in print, and hopes their numbers will continue to increase.

By a combination of happy accident mixed with a sprinkling of design, the current issue of PrintWeek is packed with female-led content.

We feature the fascinating decades-long career of mailing maven Judith Donovan in our big interview; a firm that’s run by a woman in Business Inspection; and a company set up by a woman in ’60 seconds with’. Our Q&A candidate is both a woman AND an apprentice, which is a double-fist-bump in a week that marks National Apprenticeship Week and International Women’s Day coming up on Friday.

Hey, even the firm featured in ‘Me & My’ is named after a woman, while I’m sure Graham Harris at Tech-ni-Fold wouldn’t be where he is today without the support of his wife Sue, who came up with the name for his first product and is now the firm’s FD.

News-wise it was a privilege to be able to highlight Kelly O’Sullivan’s excellent initiative in setting up a new female-led networking group, too.

Our modern, high-tech business is a much more attractive proposition now than it was way back when I joined, and I am hugely encouraged to see that four out of five members on the BPIF’s Apprentice Council are women.

I’ve always been of the opinion that “talent will out’ no matter what the gender of an individual and am not in favour of the sort of ‘we must tick a box and stick a woman in this job’ decision making that spelled the end of Simon Mayo’s hugely-popular Radio 2 Drivetime show.

That said, our industry’s historical imbalance does mean that, at the sharp end, printco bosses need to be aware of this, and think about whether they are offering the roles and working environment where female talent will flourish.

Could we do with more women in print? Yes, certainly. And if the current 31% (according to BPIF stats) can grow to become equal representation then the industry will be richer for it.



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