To gain insight into the role of women in print, it is important to look back at the history to learn where women in print they started, and what they have overcome. Then, look towards the future, and look at how far women in the industry have come, and at what lies ahead. This article is also fortunate to feature a brief interview with two print professors, who have a combined 60- plus years in the industry. In their own words, they are able to shed some insight and knowledge on what is like to be a woman in the print industry.
(I know this is boring. This whole section I think could be taken out honestly. It would be nice if it was an infographic.) The history of women in print goes all the way back to 1477, to the wife of a Jewish printer , named Estellina. She became known as the first womaen to work as a printer, alongside her husband Abraham Conat. A century later, Dona Reyna emerged as the first woman to own a printing press separate from her husband, making her an important figure in the history of women in print. In the 17th century, printing was a booming business. In Holland, a womaen named Judith Rosanes set up a print shop where she employed 24 men, and oversaw the operations on her own. Meanwhile, in America, Dinah Nuthead took over her husband’s printing business and became the first licensed female printing operator in the colonies. In the 1800s, a woman named Emily Faithful helped to establish the Victoria Press in London, and even took on several young girls to assist in the printing. In 1862, Faithful set up a new steam press, and ended up establishing the Women’s Printing Society which still exists today. In the early days of the Women’s Printing Society, the managers, proofreaders, and bookkeepers were all women. By the 1900’s, a social revolution was taking place. Women were gaining jobs in the work force all over the world, and this of course showed in the printing industry. Women were taking on increasing roles in administration, design, and print finishing.