About Girls Who Print
GWP NATION IS BORN!
Founded in 2009 by industry veteran Mary Beth Smith, Girls Who Print is a virtual online sorority that outgrew its bandwidth and spilled over into real life. Organized as a simple LinkedIn discussion group in 2009, it resonated with women and men worldwide, and its members now number in the thousands. GWP Nation interacts on LI, Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram via the hashtag #GirlsWhoPrint on a daily basis, making it the most popular chat channel in the world for women in the printing industry.
Here’s how MB describes the early days:
When I formed Girls Who Print on LinkedIn, I thought that maybe 20 people I knew personally around the country might join up, and we’d chat and gossip about people who WEREN’T in the group or reminisce about printing companies we’d worked for, and just kind of stay connected across the miles and across the years. There was no serious purpose or grand plan. It was my hands-on learning attempt at social media for business. By the end of the first week, I was dumbfounded to learn that nearly 100 people had joined, most of whom I did NOT know. Clearly I was going to have to take it a little more seriously – people were WATCHING – yikes!! And…guys!!! Men also wanted to be part of a group that brought the woman’s perspective to the industry. When we hit 500 members before the month was out, I thought to myself: “Wow! I guess everyone who is going to join has joined – awesome!” I had the same thought regularly over the next several weeks as we grew to 600, then 700, then 1,000. I realized that I had no idea how many Girls Who Print were out there. I accepted that I was just along for the ride.
And what a ride it’s been…
Now numbering over 6,000 members worldwide via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the GWP community is everywhere. A chance partnering with Deborah Corn’s Print Media Centr for the 2012 Graph Expo sent GWP into overdrive with the observing of the first National “Girls Who Print” Day. This forever forged an alliance between MB and Deb that has united industry women and men around the world by celebrating National GWP Day, now converting it into International “Girls Who Print” Day. Two years later, the GWP Day platform was enhanced by the announcement of the first official GIRLIE Award. The GIRLIE Award is now presented annually to a member who exemplifies the best that GWP Nation brings to the industry, and by extension to everyone involved in communications. In addition to celebrating and honoring the vital contribution of women to the industry, National GWP Day uses this platform to highlight mentoring and education, with an emphasis on connecting women leaders with students and the media.
The Future of Girls Who Print
GWP and Print Media Centr, having dated for 5 years, officially partnered in 2017. Combining the skills, talents, experience and networks of both organizations creates the largest platform on the planet for women’s issues in the Printing and Graphics Arts Industry. Initiatives are now underway to increase and enhance opportunities for individual members, small companies, educational institutions, associations, and corporations to be more engaged with each other and the industry. These are golden times for Girls Who Print!
Peace. Love. GWP Forever!
“Girls Who Print”, “GWP Nation”, “GWP Day”, and “The Girlie Award” are official designations of “Girls Who Print.” Their use is permitted and encouraged in articles or other press references, provided they are credited appropriately.