Deborah Corn: If you’re not getting the chance to step up, change jobs

Empowering women in print is one of the many initiatives that Deborah Corn has embarked on and that was her main message at a recent event.

The intergalactic ambassador to the Printverse was in Sydney to talk at a Women in Print event, part of the PrintEx tradeshow, where she encouraged women to step up and take roles in leadership.

Corn also runs the Girls Who Print initiative, an online network of women in the industry.

“There is a time where we have to stop trying to get a seat at the men’s table and create our own table,” she said.

“I’m interested in seeing women on the cover of every printing trade magazine because they have done things to show that they belong on the front of these magazines,” she said.

According to Corn, speaking at trade events or panels is one way that women can step up.

“The women that already do this take advantage of opportunities to step up and speak at public events and panels, or take advantage of tradeshows. They come out of their comfort zones of being behind the scenes,” she said.

“So, go to your company and say ‘I want to be on this list to speak’ and if they say no, get another job.”

Corn mentioned that women should stop sitting back and waiting for someone to present them with opportunities.

“Be yourself and take risks but don’t wait for someone to get it to you. You have to be a little bit more aggressive and take it yourself,” she said.

Corn used the interview process as an example of where women don’t step up. She said women generally double guess their capabilities and worth and sometimes need to look outside of the companies they work in for personal growth and career development.

“Women have to stop thinking about their careers as ladders and more like lattices. Sometimes you need to make a sideways move in order to move up somewhere else. Some women are so afraid to give up their titles that they don’t see the possible progression they can make elsewhere,” she said.

“If you see a company that has no women in upper management beyond a certain title, and some of this is cultural, be aware of your settings and lattice yourself. Be very aware of your settings and look for skills for your next job. Keep moving with the opportunities.

“So, when you’re looking for a job, ask yourself what are the five things that you need to say in a job interview to land the job. You don’t need to go into an interview and put up a show or an act, but be prepared for what is asked with what you want out of it. Here’s where Girls Who Print can help.”

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