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Changing Faces: 6 ways the print industry has changed in the last 60 years

Continuing our look at how the industry has changed since LG Davis first opened its doors in 1962, this week we look at the changing face of the industry and how it’s starting to move away from its male dominated history. Managing Director Liz Smith explores why the industry was traditionally more suited to men rather than women, and how things have moved forward in the 21st Century.

2. Changing face of the industry

“When I first started in the industry I was often the only woman in the room at conferences and industry events. This is now starting to change.

“Although print remains a male dominated industry, changes in working patterns and technology have definitely made the industry more female friendly and I am pleased to see more women in leading roles.

“There is definitely still a long way to go but we are certainly seeing positive steps and the female influence brings a much-needed dynamic to the traditional industry.”

With its heavy machinery, long hours and labour-intensive processes, print used to traditionally attract a more male orientated workforce.

For Liz, as the daughter of a manufacturing printer, print was something she grew up with and quickly fell in love with. For other young women at the time it wasn’t probably something they would have thought of.

Advancements in technology mean that today print no longer requires the same strength and anti-social working patterns which might have traditionally put off female workers. Flexible working and more digital processes are seeing more women embrace the benefits of a career in print.

This means positive steps are being made, but for some like Liz, there is a need to raise greater awareness to help bring more women into print.

The industry is still dominated by male workers, with 69% of the workforce being male and limited numbers of females in senior roles.

In recent years more has been done to raise awareness of the industry to women and change perceptions. For owners like Liz that is having a positive impact with a more balanced viewpoint bringing a new outlook despite its very traditional background.

“It is important as an industry we continue to see this balance of voices from various people. Levelling up the gender gap and bringing in people with different experiences will help to bring a range of viewpoints and continue to help the industry evolve.

“For me it is so important that we continue to encourage new skills, and people, it will bring a new perspective and allow for the industry to continue to grow and evolve its offer, reaching more markets.”

Find out how cost has impacted print as we continue our look into the next of our 6 big changes for the industry next week, or look back at other changes such as advances in technology.


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