Open Letter to PIA Board Opens Flood of Comments About Lack of Women in Printing Industry
Editor's Note: Randy Radosevich's letter appearing below, which was submitted to Printing Impressions and posted on LinkedIn, about the lack of women among the Printing Industries of America national board has led to a much broader discussion about the need to attract and engage more women within our industry.
For example, Editor-in-Chief Mark Michelson posted the following on LinkedIn:
I think it's wonderful to see all of the comments and opinions on this important topic. And kudos to Randy for starting the dialog. As we all know, the printing industry has traditionally been very male-dominated. But that is changing and all of our industry organizations need to reflect that reality, so that both sexes are well-represented.
Women will increasingly fill more industry roles as skills like data management, analytics, multimedia campaigns, marketing and creative/design services, and consultative selling tied in with toner/inkjet printing, etc., replace the former "craft" skills. During the past many years, Printing Impressions has tried to showcase women who have made a mark in our industry through our Hall of Fame induction (Cheryl Kahanec, for example, was a well-deserved 2018 inductee) and through features we've written on young industry up-and-comers and profiles on women-run companies like SG360° and Cathedral, among others.
As John Berthelsen pointed out, the majority of PGSF scholarship recipients are women, which is a positive sign of what lies ahead. With that said, we need to attract bright people, of both sexes, who will become tomorrow's industry leaders.
What do you think about this important topic? Would love to get reader feedback.
Dear PIA Board of Directors,
As a long-time PIA member and supporter, we feel we have a responsibility to speak up when our industry’s flagship organization is failing its membership.
We’ll get right to the point: our national board doesn’t show the gender diversity we expect to see - namely, women business owners and printing leaders are woefully underrepresented. Of the 28 PIA board members, only two are women.
Why is this?
When a young woman researching careers visits the PIA Board of Directors web page, what is she supposed to think? Does she see a successful future in printing? We are sending the wrong message to the upcoming generation of print leaders by not having a truer representation of the men AND women who work to improve our craft every day.
Is it that you don’t welcome women or don’t want them involved in these leadership roles?
Gender diversity leads to greater innovation and advancement. Better problem-solving and ideation. Clearer perspective and vision. Not giving women a voice is a detriment to our industry.
Most importantly, what are you going to do to correct the problem?
The lack of women business owners and leaders on the PIA Board is an embarrassment to all of us who are PIA members.
We ask all printing industry leaders who read this letter to ask themselves what they can do to help correct this incredibly unjust situation. Staying silent and doing nothing is participating in the problem.
Please let PIA President and CEO Michael Makin know how you feel. Call him at (412) 259-1777 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here at Allen Press, Inc., we want to continue to be part of the PIA community. However, our commitment to social impact means we can no longer fund or lend our support to an organization that is becoming more and more irrelevant by its own lack of gender diversity.
Randy Radosevich, CEO
Allen Press, Inc.
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Printing Impressions. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of Printing Impressions.