13 November 2017 People

Harvey is not welcome here

There is no Harvey Weinstein in the printing industry. Leeches like Robert Maxwell died off years ago and the opportunity to run a web offset factory simply was not considered either a suitable chat up line or even thinkable. But 30 or so years ago practices where women buyers might be offered the opportunity to negotiate a better price on a job or for those in sales to secure the order were rife.

The cavalcade of allegations sweeping the entertainment industry and now parliament cannot be confined to these two spheres. Printing is notoriously uneven in the roles meted out to different genders even though this is to dismiss half the talent pool in an industry that needs every brain cell it can recruit. The evidence was there at Ipex as Grafenia boss Peter Gunning has pointed out in a LinkedIn post. And others have added their experiences to his.

It would be nice to think of this as the last swish of the tail of a dying attitude; but it isn't. Everyday sexism is part of the fabric of this industry, born of its long history. But what happened in the past is not acceptable today. Those endorsing it will find it difficult to recruit talent, and will find their customers walk away. Nobody would allow a fire to catch hold in their factory, nor should they allow sexual harassment of any kind. Stamp it out.

Gareth Ward

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