Unusually for the industry, we are an all woman team.
There is me, Karen, the founder. General dogsbody, tea maker and jack of all trades. Provider of mad ideas and promiser of tight deadlines.
Lissie is the design whizz. The voice of sense, calm of head, absolutely capable of producing all of our products to any deadline as long as no packing is required. Lissie works mostly on www.stickers4walls.co.uk - our sister company producing amazing wall stickers.
Wendy is the workshop queen. Tidy, organised and oh-so neat, observer of the slightest imperfection, packer extraordinaire, master of stock control.
Seriously though, how many sign or vinyl houses have any women except perhaps in accounts, or in the office. Very, very few. In fact, it would be hard to name one. Its not that the work is particularly physical. Sure vinyl wrapping can be, but we don't offer that. Yes the rolls of material can be very heavy (and I have personally twice dropped a roll on my foot to break a toe!), but its not anything that a woman could not cope with.
So why is the industry so unattractive to half the workforce?
Personally, I think it comes down to education. There is not much in the way of training courses for sign makers. You can do apprenticeships in graphic designs but to work in a sign shop you need to be prepared to get down and dirty, or up a ladder. A lot of companies are run by private owners rather than big companies, and, dare I suggest, a lot of them are suspicious of women wanting to do work that is considered to be traditionally male.
So how to change perception? We have never had a customer refuse us access to install because we are female. Quite the opposite. It is such a novelty we have people ringing up asking if we are the female team. And I like to think that we bring attention to detail.
Do you work in a traditionally male or female industry? We would love to hear your comments.