We all here at Kingswood Media feel very fortunate to work alongside Michelle Ryder, our Editor of PrintIT Reseller magazine. Michelle is a passionate, dedicated editor, she is professional, conscientious and has built up a wealth of experience. Our management team rely on Michelle’s clear judgement and value her opinions. She has been instrumental in both the success of PrintIT Reseller magazine and the PrintIT Awards that we launched last year. Michelle threw herself fully into this launch which was unknown territory for all of us. Her determination and enthusiasm gave her the confidence to take on the mantle of head judge a key role which included writing the entry criteria for all of the categories, covering the awards online and in print, and recruiting an excellent team of judges from around the industry.
Michelle has worked her way up over her 25+ years in the technology publishing sector from a PR background, and is now a well-connected and respected journalist in the UK technology channel.
In recognition of International Women’s Day, we wanted to ask Michelle what this means for her and any advice she may have for women looking to break into and develop a career in both the publishing and technology sectors.
What does the International Women’s Day slogan, #ChooseToChallenge mean for you in your work life?
I can safely say that #ChooseToChallenge resonates with me. You’d just have to ask anyone who knows me that I’m not the shy retiring type! I do question, challenge and constructively critique almost everything that comes my way. But that said, whilst I’m not afraid to challenge and make my point – I also do listen – and that’s really important, to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and that at the end of the day we make the right decisions and achieve the best result.
What influenced you to pursue a career in Media?
If I’m honest I think it chose me. I began my career in consumer PR, and sort of fell into B2B and this industry by chance. I decided I loved it and had found my niche. Writing was always my passion and having worked with and known Ethan, Neil and James for many years, I did some freelance feature writing across several titles, before assuming full responsibility for PrintIT Reseller magazine as its Editor.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman starting out in her career?
The same advice I gave to my daughter. Believe in yourself, you can do whatever you want. Decide what you want to do and go for it and don’t give up until you get where you want to be.
Do you think there’s a stereotype attached to high-powered females?
Not at all, no more than one attached to high-powered males – why would there be?
How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
I think in the current climate where almost a year of lockdowns, social restrictions and enforced home working, is taking its toll on so many people, it’s absolutely important for everyone to lift each other up.
For me, it’s the small things that matter, a socially distanced walk with a friend, a chat over the garden fence, or picking up the phone to a colleague rather than pinging them an email – anything that says: hey I know it’s tough at the moment but hang in there things will get better.
“Only 5% of leadership positions in the technology sector are held by women” How would you react to this?
That 95% of the top jobs are up for grabs! That in itself is a huge incentive to roll up your sleeves and aim high!