Mindsets are changing, say women

By 11 Mar 2020

PrintWeek speaks to six professionals working in the manufacturing and supplying segments in print to understand about their roles in the company.

Mukherjee: Today’s print solutions require a different value selling approach than traditional sales

Ahana Mukherjee, TechNova

Is print now a better industry for women to work in? Please explain why ...
Mindsets are changing, allowing even combat roles for women. Because of companies like TechNova we are getting even exciting frontline roles.

Today’s print solutions also require a different value selling approach than traditional sales.

What’s the best way to attract more women into the sector?
Demonstrating gender-neutral policies in action may help the most. Also extra efforts towards ensuring workplace safety.

TechNova’s policies have always given us this positive vibe.

Do women coming into the industry need role models? Who is your role model in our industry - and why so?
My team. The combined qualities of being driven, ethical, loving and a learning soul is the perfect role model that inspires me every day.


Ambika Yadav, Colorjet

Is print now a better industry for women to work in? Please explain why ...
The printing industry has traditionally been a male-dominated business, but the scenario is changing. More and more women are willing to join the industry in different roles like marketing, sales, engineering, and R&D.

With growing opportunities and changing mindset of the industry players, they have started having women in their teams. Now women are not hired merely as the face of the company in marketing roles, they are actually proving their worth and taking leadership roles. They are becoming an asset to the company.

What’s the best way to attract more women into the sector?
By opening up new roles for women in the production segment, it can be a boon for the industry. Women are demanding equal representation in each and every field and I am sure they can be a performer in this segment as well. Furthermore opening new roles for women in the marketing and sales department can also enhance their leadership skills. 

Do women coming into the industry need role models? Who is your role model in our industry - and why so?|
We have so many examples in our industry that will boost the confidence of women and inspire them to join this industry.

When I joined this industry I had a corporate sales profile, it was an experimental role for me. It made me learn about the demand for advertising and print technicalities. I come from an agency background and did not know much about the printing industry. But I have known Smarth Bansal for many years when he used to visit the printing exhibitions. At that time, women's participation in this segment was low. I always wanted to be like him and have the same energy and passion towards printers and printing technologies. It is a great pleasure to work in his team. We need to have more men like him who are supportive of their women colleagues and willing to provide a platform to showcase their skills.


Ekta Mhatre, TechNova

Is print now a better industry for women to work in? Please explain why ...
With rapid digitisation, automation and focus on quality control there are exciting new areas for companies to provide equal opportunities as compared to traditional labor-intensive manufacturing-driven organisation.  We are already seeing a move from design studios to enter into the print shopfloor, plus there are quality labs and on-field customer management roles.

What’s the best way to attract more women into the sector?
TechNova provides a fantastic environment of safety and equality in every aspect of our job. I think the same can work for any organisation in our industry.

Do women coming into the industry need role models? Who is your role model in our industry - and why so?
We all need role models but not necessarily from industry. In my case it’s my mother from whom I have learned to be relentless in efforts and be absolutely ethical in doing so.


Kirti Thakur, Orient Press

Is print now a better industry for women to work in? Please explain why...

The printing industry gives everyone an opportunity to learn something new every day. Companies have started following a process to make the workplace safe. The demand for creativity in the industry makes it more interesting. Various new colour experiments, shapes, styles, applications, boxes, booklets, etc interest us regularly. So yes it a better industry for women to work in. 

What’s the best way to attract more women into the sector?
The best way to attract women in this sector is to provide them with training and proper guidance. A good mentor should always appreciate all the efforts and hard work of the women employees. This is the main issue in today's male-dominated sector. I personally feel retaining women in the industry is a bigger challenge than attracting them. 

Do women coming into the industry need role models? who is your role model in our industry - and why so?
I think a woman has to think of herself as a role model. The industry currently does not have many women role models. But if you are working in this industry, it means you have to overcome a lot of challenges and work hard for it. All we need to do is work on the skills and knowledge and take a positive step from time to time. I feel proud of myself and so should every other woman who is working in this industry.


Prabhsharan KaurAvery Dennison India

Is print now a better industry for women to work in? Please explain why ...
Indeed, we have come a long way when we talk of women in print and packaging industry. There is significant growth in women venturing into this Industry, however, they still have to face unconscious biases in the Industry. From an age where there were just men operating in Print, the situation today is far more better. Atleast, now in every gathering of 50 print industry people you will see that almost 8-10% of them would be women. That's because the impact of having a women contributing as an employee or even as a business owner is at least two folds more and its clearly visible. At the same time, I must applaud the men in the Industry who have actually contributed in opening doors for potential women at work, thereby, making it a conducive environment.  

What’s the best way to attract more women into the sector?
Well, for starters, positioning more women in customer facing role and operational role will definitely help challenge the unconscious biases involved. Also, it is very important to provide a clean and healthy work environment to them on ground. And at the same time, providing equal growth opportunities to women plays a very significant role in attracting them to this Industry. Eg: At Avery Dennison, women are given an equal platform to showcase their skills and potential in the organization. The very fact that the organization recognises its employees and values their opinion makes all the difference. 

Do women coming into the  industry need role models? Who is your role model in our industry - and why so?  
Of course, everyone has a role model irrespective of one's gender. In my view, a role model can be anybody whose qualities and courage one aspires and look upto. I personally believe there are qualities to aspire for in each one of us not just industry specific. But for me it would have to Indra Nooyi and closer to my life, is my mother. Both of them have equally different roles however, the common denominator to both are courage to take a stand and resilience at the heart. I am in absolute awe of Indra nooyi and the way she has managed her life all through work and personal space. 


Shyamala Viswanathan, manufacturing controller, Tech Mahindra

Is print now a better industry for women to work in? Please explain why...
Of course, the print industry is getting better and better for women employees just like other sectors. In the publishing sector, there are women female employees. I feel that it is the responsibility of both employers (major contributor) and women employees to take this forward and make the best out of the print industry. My University (Department of Printing

Technology, Avinashilingam University for Women, School of Engineering) is a good example of this. Each year many girl students graduate and there is 100% placement to-date. This means the print industry is on the lookout for women employees.

In this industry, women have immense scope in leadership role or management role after the completion of an engineering degree in Printing. 

What’s the best way to attract more women into the sector?
Though many print organisations focus on gender diversity, others need to understand the importance of encouraging and recruiting women employees. In my view, more than an organisation’s responsibility, it is the responsibility of the individual not to project gender diversity. For example, if an organisation has a policy about gender equality, then it should ensure all senior officials are fully aware of it and are adhering to it. In reality, there are many managers who prefer male candidates over females for better productivity and team performance. Despite this, women employees do get Best

Performance Awards in many organisations. Another way is that female employees may give priority to females for referrals’. Above all, I feel, we can start LinkedIn groups like the Victoria Print Network and SGIA in India. With this, we can create a mission and work towards fulfilling the vision of women the print industry

Do women coming into the industry need role models? 
Any industry needs a role model. The print industry needs role models, too, especially in the manufacturing sector. Recently I have been recruited as an assistant manager of quality control at Eenadu newspaper where they follow gender equality. I have not had second thoughts on how I might suit this role. I should add that I couldn’t find another lady print graduate in the Indian newspaper industry as yet. I am grateful to Eenadu for providing me this opportunity

Who is your role model? 
Kate Hughes, the head of the ELT product supply team at Cambridge University Press. She is very enthusiastic, knowledgeable, fun-loving, and loves to see more women in the industry. Kate Hughes is my role model.

(Editor’s note: Shyamala Viswanathan will be joining Eeandu on 16 March - a Women’s Day gift).

 

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