First role was office junior

Gill Tress celebrates 40 years at SF Taylor

Gill Tress, business services director at commercial printer SF Taylor, has celebrated her 40th year at the 97-year-old Stockport firm.

During the course of her career Tress has seen the printing world undergo multiple transformations, including the rise to dominance of digital media, the birth of digital printing, and a changing cultural background that has left the industry quite different to the one she joined.

She said: “When I began my career as an office junior in 1983, our client base was much smaller compared to our current roster. 

“Most companies didn't even use computers at this time and we did everything manually. 

“Obviously, we've seen significant changes since then, and it has been amazing to witness the transformation, innovation and growth.” 

She added that one of her first jobs at the company was to complete the company’s payroll, writing manually onto paper payslips, with a sheet of carbon paper for the company’s copy.

“PAYE used to take me weeks to balance,” she said.

Tress herself has observed a real change in the industry’s attitude towards women, too. 

She said: "When I began, there was just one woman in a management position. The print industry, like many sectors in the '80s, was primarily male-dominated. 

“Witnessing the complete transformation of our workforce, from the central management team to the directors, into a more diverse and inclusive team has been a privilege.”

Throughout her career, Tress said, the industry has impressed her by being constantly on the lookout for technological developments that can help increase efficiency, productivity, or diversify a company’s business.

“There is always something new to discover,” she added.

“Looking ahead, I will be happy to see how the industry can evolve while fully embracing sustainability.

“We have already implemented so many more sustainable practices than I would have ever thought possible, 40, 30, or 20 years ago, so I can only imagine what the future holds.”

Simon Young, SF Taylor’s managing director, said: “We extend our heartfelt thanks to Gill for her remarkable four decades with SF Taylor. 

“Gill has always been an invaluable source of wisdom, insight, and friendship. As for the next forty years – who knows how many of them we'll share, but let's hope they're as exhilarating and rewarding for our successors as they've been for us.”

Tress added: “After 40 years of service, I still come to work with a smile.

“Every day is still a learning experience, and my colleagues are what make this a truly special place to work. Here’s to the next 40 years!”