As a young woman, many years ago, one had to be twice as good as a man in order to earn half the money. Senior positions were out of the question. Thankfully times have changed and women young and old are being given equal opportunities to work in industries across the board.
Today I consider myself to be very lucky as one of my many jobs is to sit on the board of Precision Printing, together with six men. The company is fronted by the inspirational Managing Director Gary Peeling, whose views are revered by many and we often lose him as he is the guest speaker at some company or other, in a country often halfway across the world.
Back in 1997 I was employed as the Finance Director of a successful recruitment agency and I was lucky enough to have shares in the business. When the company was sold my options were to stay at home and be a lady who lunches or to continue to work. I had a three year exclusion from working within the recruitment industry (a clause in the sale agreement), so when I was approached by the Chairman of Precision Printing, Clive Cooper, who had provided my old company with such a great service, I was very interested in joining their company. I had previously worked with them for a number of years and they had proven themselves to be reliable, innovative, honest and trustworthy. What more could a girl want?
Moving into the print industry from recruitment brought new challenges as I had never dealt with a manufacturing company and the different accounting procedures that had to be applied. Whilst I knew about such procedures, they were new to me and in addition I was suddenly working with a large number of men. It was a refreshing change for these men to be courteous and welcoming with none of the old-fashioned biases that I had encountered early in my career.
My advice to ladies wishing to enter the print industry is learn about all aspects of the job, ask to work in different departments, even for a couple of days, so that you gain an insight to what goes on. Do your work, ask for more. If the work you have asked for is interesting ask for it again and again till people think it’s your job. By that time it will be. Always be willing to learn and do, and I promise that you will be noticed and will get on!