Something we’re immensely proud of here at Reflex, are the teams of experts we have working at each and every site around the country – teams that include a huge number of talented, experienced women.
We’ve always recruited and promoted people based on skills and attitude rather than gender and feel proud that our offices, production sites and management teams are filled with both men and women who have worked equally hard to create a fulfilling career.
And so, to help celebrate International Print Day, we wanted to share stories from some of our wonder women to help inspire the next generation of #WomenInPrint
Production Manager Reflex Boston
After leaving school at 16, I started off doing a work placement as a Production Assistant for a label-printing company whilst doing NVQs in IT, customer service and business administration.
At this time the print industry was dominated by males and I was the only woman within production so thought I might struggle to progress my career. However, I was offered a new role organising the repro and plates and shortly after that also took on the role of production planner. Eventually, I was offered the role of production manager and have continued in this role ever since. I’ve now been with the company for 19-years!
I love the buzz you get when, as a team, you manage to achieve something that initially seemed impossible. Receiving thanks from customers also helps to make the stressful times seem worthwhile. I also love that every day is a school day and that even after all these years there are still new things to learn every single day.
Back in the old days, women in print probably were stereotyped a bit, particularly when working in production. I’ve lost count of the number of times someone has tried to dismiss me or talk past me to talk to ‘the man’ in the conversation. But this has only made me more determined and I am now more confident and assertive because of it.
To any other females considering a career in print, I would say just do it! It can be challenging, but incredibly rewarding. There are now more women working within our production team than ever before and that number looks set to increase year after year. Good luck!
Customer Services Manager – Reflex Mansfield and Leicester Flexibles
My first job within print was as an office junior over 20-years ago! I had always wanted to work in an office and was very grateful for the opportunity given to me by our founder and CEO Ian Kendall. I’ve built my career within the group since then, firstly being promoted to customer services manager for one site, and going on to manage two sites. I also help out anywhere else within the group that needs support
I absolutely love my job and the people I work with. I also love that every day in this industry is different; although on the face of it we’re just producing adhesive labels and packaging, there’s just so much technical skill involved and so many different challenges. I’m always blown away by what a few different colours on some paper actually looks like when it’s on the shelf. I can’t say that there’s anything specific I dislike, although lead times can be challenging!
My advice to other women is to just go for it! If you enjoy a challenge and are looking for a career that gives you great job satisfaction then the print industry will not disappoint. It’s amazing to see the end result when you’re wandering around the supermarket and to think that it started life as a roll of paper or film.
Site Lead – Reflex Telford
You could say that I was born into print as, back in the day, my dad was the print foreman of a corrugated factory. He MADE me work in the yoking department as a temp to earn a bit of money after I left school, and I’ve never looked back.
After a while working on the yoking belt, I was promoted to a printer for flexibles corrugated – I was the first ever woman printer at that time, it wasn’t really a woman’s job back then. After that, I moved into the sales office and worked my way up to manager. I changed substrates to carton board and stayed for 12-years working as the sales office manager, group sales manager and group analyst. I then moved substrate again to film and have been there ever since.
This is going to sound really random, but what I love most is the smell! I also really love the fast pace of the environment. Working within food packaging means I get to glimpse behind the scenes of a world most people don’t get to see, learning about the trends, what’s popular and where has the best 2 for 1 bargains!!
To other women looking to get a job in print, I would say don’t be afraid to get dirty or speak up. Your voice deserves to be heard too.
As you can see, we’re a passionate and varied bunch who love print, taking on new challenges and making all of our sites a great place to work.
Thank you to all of the amazing women we have working within Reflex and the contribution you are making to the printing and packaging world.
If you’re considering a career in print, take a look at our current opportunities