Diversity in Print

Diversity and Inclusion have garnered much of this year’s spotlight. In the wake of a global pandemic disproportionately affecting minorities to the Black Lives Matter protests going on across the globe, many companies have put out statements and articles on how they are going to improve their diversity and inclusion efforts. The print industry, however, has been rather quiet. 

According to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics Printing and Related Support Activities report, gender diversity for this sector of the graphic communication industry is 70% male and 30% female. Further, it is noted in this report that ethnic diversity is 81.9% Caucasian with Hispanic/Latino being the next largest ethnic group at 15%, followed by 11.9% African American and 2.6% Asian. 

We can see that the majority of employees in the industry are caucasian and male. In Dr. Twyla Cummings 2017 study, she notes “Although the majority of the respondents indicated that their companies were very or somewhat diverse and inclusive, the overall response from the research study participants suggests that there is significant work to do to ensure that the industry continues to work toward a balance of diversity and to provide an inclusive work environment.”

We need to increase the diversity in leadership and community outreach to develop opportunities that help minorities (both race and gender) within the industry.  Companies with diverse workforces are known to be more innovative, strategic, and profitable (Kerby and Burns, 2012). This means hiring more minorities in management, leadership, and front office positions; providing diverse and inclusive speaking opportunities and topics at industry events; lastly and certainly not least, challenging the status quo – money speaks. We should work with, support, and elevate minority-owned businesses.

Written by: Candice Sampson

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Progress, Visual Communications Journal 2017