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This One's for Ladies Only --DeWese

February 2003
This column is for women only! It is strictly private and confidential. Women should enter their user names, passwords and proceed to read my column. Men should just flip the page and read the equipment ads.

About 18 years ago I wrote a column that predicted women would have a bigger role in printing management and printing sales.

Didn't happen.

What actually happened was that women who couldn't get a decent job in printing got jobs as print buyers. (And, by golly, female print buyers have noticed that the printing industry is male dominated and, as a result, they are irritated.)

We have female CEOs in less than 5 percent of all printing companies. About 30 percent of all salespeople are women. The most notable CEO is Stephanie Streeter, CEO at Banta Corp., a New York Stock Exchange company with revenues of nearly $1.5 billion. For the first nine months of 2002, Banta's earnings were up 28 percent in an extremely weak economy. Way to go Ms. Streeter!

This perverse inequality in the printing industry strikes me as odd since more than 50 percent of the population is female. In my own family, 75 percent of my children are female and 80 percent of my grandchildren are female.

Only 12 of the Printing Impressions 400 companies have female CEOs. That's only 3 percent of the top 400 printing companies in America.

I did all this research because the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) asked me to conduct a special seminar for the spouses at its annual Top Management Conference, which is scheduled February 19-23 in Scottsdale, AZ, at the fancy J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

Each year NAPL has a program for spouses at the conference. Lots of times the program includes wine tasting, cooking classes, shopping trips and museum tours. I guess they don't want spouses and significant others to sit in their rooms and watch the soaps and Oprah.

Printing Lessons

I already know that my seminar participants will be 100 percent female. My topic: "All you ever wanted to know about the printing industry, but were afraid to ask."

Here's what I'm going to tell the participants.

I will begin by telling the women that the printing industry is the fourth largest manufacturing industry in America, but is about 89th in terms of profitability. I will then point out that more than 95 percent of the industry leaders are men so it would appear that the boys have dropped the ball.
 

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