As we celebrate International Women’s Day and all of women’s great achievements throughout history, we’re also looking toward the future. In the print industry, diversity is top of mind and AlphaGraphics Pittsburgh is an example of a thriving, women-owned business. Our print efforts in Pittsburgh are part of a larger goal to attract more women to the printing industry in the years to come.
Female leadership in print is critically important
For decades, women have been working hard to forge equity in their careers. Representation is critical to having everyone’s voices heard in the workplace, and equal opportunities build financial equity across demographics. Not to mention, gender diversity can greatly improve an organization’s innovation, problem-solving and vision realization. Female leadership is just one part of solidifying diversity and inclusion across all industries.
Gender diversity is particularly important as we deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic disproportionately removed women from the global workforce. With kids out of daycare or school due to closures, more women left their jobs to care for their families and homes. This is especially true in fields that were already male dominated, like the print industry. According to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics Printing and Related Support Activities report, the print sector of the graphic communication industry was 70% male and 30% female.
However, women are interested in careers in the print and graphic communications industries. AlphaGraphics Pittsburgh is just one example! Around 50% of our employees are women, and we are led by two very experienced and recognized women: President Clare Meehan and CEO Sarah Meehan Parker.
Clare maintains certifications through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and Women Business Enterprise (WBE). She has spent the past 20 years helping to build AlphaGraphics into an equitable and diverse business. Not only has this impacted our team—it’s also translated into better relationships with our clients.
“We have developed close relationships with our clients over our 20 years in business through servant leadership and caring, and many clients have become my closest friends,” Clare Meehan says. She also cites a favorite quote by Maya Angelou that summarizes her outlook: “People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”
AlphaGraphics Pittsburgh aims to serve as an example of the great things that can be accomplished with women at the helm of business. We encourage women who are interested in print to take opportunities to become leaders themselves.
Resources for women-owned businesses
Women striving toward leadership positions in print, or any industry, don’t have to do it alone! Many resources in our region and beyond are dedicated to uplifting women’s voices and empowering them to take charge in their businesses.
WBENC: The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the nation’s largest certifier of women-owned businesses. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to expanding opportunities for female leaders in all industries and offers programs, training and events to help women-owned businesses succeed. The Women's Business Enterprise Center East is the WBENC partner organization serving our region.
Print Media Centr: The Print Media Centr is an online resource for printers, suppliers and industry organizations. Through podcasts, blog posts and other resources, they help print companies achieve success. The organization is founded and run by a female leader, Deborah Corn, who has helped lead initiatives like #PrintHERstoryMonth to shine a light on female leadership in the print industry.
Girls Who Print Mentorship: Girls Who Print is the world’s largest online network of women in the print industry and is a years-long partner of the Print Media Centr. The organization runs a free mentorship program that connects women interested in print careers with seasoned industry veterans and provides tools and resources to help engage the next generation of print leaders.
Women in Print Alliance: The Women in Print Alliance is an advisory council that’s part of PRINTING United Alliance. The group aims to attract, connect and empower women in the print community by promoting education, encouraging mentorship and fostering female leadership.
It’s clear there’s still a ways to go before true diversity is seen throughout the print industry. By leveraging the resources available and working with other women in print, women can gain the experience needed to take the helm at printing businesses of their own! AlphaGraphics Pittsburgh will continue to serve as an equitable employer and women-owned and -operated business. We take immense pride in being an example for women in print to strive toward.