Let’s put the gap years behind us

Darryl Danielli
Monday, April 9, 2018

Apologies in advance for the sweeping generalisation, but I think few people would argue that print is still very much a man’s game.

And that goes someway to explain why the industry appears to be trailing behind the national averages when it comes to the gender pay gap, following the publication of data from the UK’s largest companies last week.

There are of course, some shining lights that are way ahead of the curve and I know plenty of, albeit not enough, women in senior roles in print – but, by and large, the industry clearly has some serious work ahead to get the balance right.

But it’s not going to happen overnight.

Like most manufacturing sectors, historically print has employed more men than women in skilled and senior roles, with the majority of women typically employed in non-skilled production roles or lower level office jobs. And while the world and, indeed, print has moved on – that legacy remains with women only outnumbering men in lower paid roles according to the stats.

In the industry’s defence, gender equality has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, but with an ageing workforce it’s hardly surprising that the disparity of the past is still very much evident in the present.

So, I hope that while these inaugural gender pay gap filings don’t exactly paint the industry in the most enlightened of hues we can regard them as the beginning of the change, our point of no return.

And there is plenty to be hopeful for.

After all, one of the most inspirational sessions at last month’s PrintWeekLive! was the apprenticeship panel discussion and every one of the future stars of the industry on the panel was, you guessed it, a woman!

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