PVG webinar addresses gender parity in print industry

PVG’s College of Engineering and Technology organised an online session with five women from the print industry on 8 March addressing gender parity in print and packaging.

24 Mar 2021 | By Charmiane Alexander

The panel included Sonal Sheth, director, Sheth Printograph; Meenakshi Sapru, head of sales, Huhtamaki PPL; Dr TKS Lakshmi Priya, head of department of printing Technology, Avinashilingam University; Sudha K, testing and implementation engineer, InSoft Automation; and Priya Singh, vice president, production and digital sourcing, Hachette India.

Madhura Mahajan, head of department at PVG opened the session with an introductory speech and objective of the programme. The online session was hosted by students from BE Printing: Revati Hardikar, Shruti Gontla, Aditi Modi and Samiksha Suki.

Speaking on gender diversity and fair representation of men and women in the industry, Sheth said, “There must be flexibility at work. This would help women to balance life and work. Women need to be more qualified than men to fit into higher positions such as directors and CEOs.”

Adding to that, Singh spoke about gender inequalities across the globe. She threw light on a gender gap report, which revealed that the global gender gap will take another 99 years to close. She said, “The industry requires a promotion in itself. Women majorly take editor sections rather than productions and sales." She also spoke about how Hatchett practices gender equity and works with eligible candidates.

Meanwhile, Sapru said, “Most women are shy in taking out the opportunities because of the fear of failure and uncertainty. There are many opportunities in all the diversities. One needs to be passionate about the work and have the confidence to drive the project.”

Sapru also shared her experience with Times of India. She was the first woman appointed by the Times of India group in 1995 to work in the production department.

“I worked in three shifts and in all departments in the newspaper industry. Knowing the work well is necessary to get accepted in the male dominating industry,” she explained.

Priya, however, spoke about her early life and how her father supported her. She continued her studies even after her marriage. Priya encouraged girl attendees to step into the world and take the lead and not get exploited, but rather self-evaluate and transform themselves.

The panellists agreed that we need to build a system that supports women for multiple roles. A woman should stand up for her rights, opportunities and equal payment. This needs to be done at the professional and home front. 

Sudha spoke about how working in a favourite field leads to sustainability for a long period of time. She described how her organisation helped women in many ways by providing them flexible work hours, treating everyone equal as well as allowing them to work from home. She said, “Find the correct platform by putting your passion into work”.

“Printing is more exciting than ever before. One should take up challenges and opportunities. Let’s make the printing industry a destination and not a happy accident,” added Sheth.

Apart from the panellists, Kamal Chopra and Dayakar Reddy also shared their views during the session. Chopra encouraged the attendees to work in the printing industry. Reddy exclaimed that women should be able to find out their strengths because they, too, have limitations. And, once the strength is identified, one should focus on that strength to take it to the next level.

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