InterviewsWomen in Print

A True Leader Has the Confidence to Stand Alone

ME Printer speaks to Pauline Brooks, the Marketing Development Manager – Marketing Division UAE, at Konica Minolta about what inspired her to choose the printing industry as her career choice

Tell us about your leadership style and philosophy.
I believe in leading by example, I have been fortunate to attend some excellent management and leadership training courses over the years which has helped me to influence the behaviours, attitudes and thoughts of others. Hopefully, I see people’s potential and encourage them as well as inspire.

Philosophy: “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. She does not set out to be a leader but becomes one by the equality of her actions and the integrity of her intent.”

What made you choose Printing and Graphics Industry as a career opportunity?
I don’t think I chose the printing industry, I think it chose me. I was working as an administrator for an offset litho manufacturer in the UK, an opportunity came up for a showroom demonstrator to learn about the machines and look after the showroom for the sales team. I applied for the job, not knowing anything about printing and the rest is history. Having gone from being a showroom demonstrator to customer trainer, to salesperson, to product manager and now the role I am currently in which is marketing development. I have worked for some of the top industry market leaders during my career, my love for the industry has always been the same.

How has your unique background prepared you for success in the industry?
Starting as a young woman in a male-dominated industry taught me first of all to have a sense of humour and don’t take yourself too seriously, stand up for yourself and don’t be frightened to ask questions. In my view experience is priceless.

What was your most interesting job?
It had to be the customer training role as I learnt so much about the industry and worked with some amazing people. I also visited some really interesting places to train people, one I remember very well was a prison for young offenders, they set up print room inside the prison to train offenders a skill before they left prison, it was very rewarding and a unique experience.

What advice would you give to women looking to break into the field of print and related industry?
Look at it as a career and not just a job, there are so many different avenues to explore some of which you are not aware exists until you actually start working in the industry.

What is the greatest transformation in the printing that you’ve witnessed in your career?
Due to being in the industry for such a long time, I have seen so many amazing changes, but I think the one that has made such a massive difference to myself and the industry was the transition from litho to digital.

What are your thoughts on the next transformation in the print and graphics industry?
The next biggest transformation is already happening with Ink Jet growing rapidly, all the key manufacturers are investing in the new presses to entice the consumer and the market. Inkjet is becoming increasingly important in industrial decoration and textile printing; these developments are contributing to inkjet improvements. According to Smithers Pira, inkjet will overtake electrophotography after 2019, and by 2024 inkjet will account for 56% of the market share and 53% of the digital print volume.

Are you involved in any sort of volunteer work?
Yes, looking after my husband. But on a serious note, no, not at the moment.

What’s next for you in terms of your career in the printing industry?
I would like to maybe start my own consultancy business back in the UK.

Check out the Konica Minolta Resource Centre for more insights.
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