Women on the Rise
While more and more women are working in the printing industry,
only a few make it to the top. "Women in Print" wants to
Intriguingly, it was a man that was the driving force behind
"Women in Print." Glenn Plummer, responsible for product
management and marketing at Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand,
launched the initiative in March 2007.
Mr. Plummer, what is "Women in Print"?
Plummer: "Women in Print" is a worldwide
network initiated by the Print Media Academy (PMA) from Heidelberg.
It supports above all else female executives and those who want to
advance their careers.
Why did you begin the initiative?
Plummer: In our industry, it's usually men who are in
charge. This is very apparent when you visit trade shows or open
houses, where hardly any women are to be seen. We therefore felt
there was a need to create a platform for women in the print media
industry with "Women in Print."
How does "Women in Print" support women?
Plummer: The initiative helps women in their professional
development within the industry. It allows them to meet more people
at events and thus build up a network, exchange experiences and get
to know new role models or learn about other career paths. By
creating this network, it gives successful business women the
opportunity to share their experiences and talk about their own
personal path to the top. In addition, young professionals have the
opportunity to find a female mentor.
Who profits from the growing number of female experts and
Plummer: First of all, the women who now strive for
leadership positions are more self-confident and they profit from
the initiative. But it pays off for the employer, too. Women have
different abilities to men. They are often more communicative and
bring with them enormous social competence. This may sound
like a typical cliché, but it isn't. Studies show that a
balanced proportion of women and men in the workplace creates a
better work environment, and that mixed teams are more capable of
managing complex tasks. The sponsors of "Women in Print"
are also convinced of this, and they are able to improve their
company image through this commitment.
Adriana Nuneva (second from left), responsible for Global
Marketing at Heidelberg, oversees "Women in Print."
Together with the PMA Heidelberg, she supports the
network's diverse activities. For example, she organized the
first international meeting of "Women in Print" at drupa
2008 in Düsseldorf.
Ms. Nuneva, what is the role of the Print Media Academy?
Nuneva: The PMA is the initiative's "base."
The locations around the world provide not only their excellent
infrastructure, but also their expertise and contacts within the
industry which enable such a professionally-oriented network to be
successfully built up and expanded.
Why does a network promote professional advancement?
Nuneva: Networks make it much easier to establish
contacts as well as deepen them by exchanging experiences,
discussing business ideas and career paths or helping to find a new
job. Here you can often profit from one of your contacts'
contacts: one person I know also knows a lot of other people. This
makes it much easier to find someone to exchange experiences with.
How can I participate in "Women in Print"?
Nuneva: It's really simple: By using the
Internet platform XING. In order to accelerate networking, we
entered "Women in Print" as a group with its own area.
There, women from the print media industry who are already at
managerial level, or are aspiring to be, can apply. Those who
aren't yet members of XING have to register first, but it's
Hisako Shindo (left in image above), Chairwoman of the Japanese
Heidelberg Ladies' Forum is also President of the print shop
Shindo Group in Tokyo.
She's part of a special minority: Only one out of hundred
women makes it to management level in the Japanese printing
industry (data: 2007).
Why are female managers so important for the future of the
Shindo: They are better able to respond to the needs of
female consumers. Women are also more sensitive to issues of
sustainability as they are usually the ones to care for their
families on a daily basis and therefore think about how future
generations will grow up. This is true in my case as well. We
geared our entire company to environmental friendliness and even
took this into account in the architecture of our building by
making sure it harmonizes with its surroundings.
What has to change so that more women are able to reach
Shindo: Most women don't feel like "business
women" because they weren't prepared for the role. They
have not learned how to lead or to assert themselves. They
therefore need their employer's support. Hard work is not
always enough to move up. This is only possible in an environment
that offers career opportunities to women and supports them as well
as encouraging them to participate in initiatives such as
"Women in Print."
Print Media Academy
The Print Media Academy in Heidelberg offers support to the print
media industry with a broad program of further education. The PMA
is a center of ideas, training and future innovations accord- ing
to the motto "learning from and with each other". More