Happy Women’s Print HERstory Month to one and all! Of course, this print-centered initiative occurs alongside Women’s History Month, marked throughout March each year to celebrate women’s accomplishments and highlight women’s issues. Unfortunately, here in the UK specifically and I suspect elsewhere, the main news stories at the moment are emphasising how challenging and dangerous some aspects of being a woman can be.
However, I would like to take a positive approach. If you’ve read my blogs before you may be aware of my view that (the right) technology can not only improve print but make the world a better place. In honour of Women’s History Month, here are some insights into how technology empowers women, in print and beyond.
Gender Pay Gap
Gapsquare is a software company from my neck of the woods, Bristol, UK, which uses data analysis to ensure all work is compensated fairly. The software breaks down a wealth of information to address the gender pay gap, offering a comprehensive view of a company’s pay grades vs employee demographics. Taking a deep dive into the data is an ideal opportunity to build a picture of the equity and integrity within your business, which is the first step in correcting any areas that need it, and implementing processes to ensure it remains fair.
The print industry is evolving all the time – it’s one of the things that makes it such an exciting industry to work in – and automation will continue to bring significant changes. I’m interested in the concept of Industry 5.0, the idea of bringing the human touch back to manufacturing, which advocates for allowing automation to take over the ‘3 Ds’; dull, dirty, and dangerous jobs, freeing up creative, intelligent humans to handle other tasks. You could also argue these roles are ones more traditionally associated with men. As we think about building the future of our print businesses, sectors, and industries, we need to think about how we frame them as accessible to all.
A Global Mission
Empowering women to succeed with technology is possible in many areas of life and in all corners of the earth. Africa has the lowest rates of internet penetration, and the widest digital gender gap, with just 18.6% of women using the internet, and initiatives such as African Girls Can Code teach girls digital literacy and coding, helping them build confidence, leadership, and development skills. Blockchain is being trialed as a way of helping foster financial independence for female refugees in humanitarian settings. ERP systems are being used to pilot the Buy from Women (BfW) platform to provide easier access to land, information, markets, and finance for women farmers. Incredible work is being done using technology to lift women up, which in turn makes the world a more equal place.
I’d like to finish with a Women’s Print HERstory Month shoutout – it’s inspiring to delve into the stories of incredible women in the industry on the Girls Who Print blog throughout this month. Make sure you’re on the HERstory journey!
Karis Copp is a UK-based writer, journalist, and communications expert. With a background as an editor and public relations specialist in the print industry, she now works on a freelance basis covering events, writing on industry news and trends, and working with businesses to help them tell their stories and connect with their customers. Follow her on Twitter @KarisCoppMedia.