Honouring women working in the packaging industry, Pro Carton has launched a series of interviews with female packaging professionals to celebrate International Women’s Day 2023. The series is on the Pro Carton website now.
The series reflects the association’s ongoing support for female packaging professionals, featuring representatives from Graphic Packaging International and WestRock. The series will be rolled out across Pro Carton’s social media channels and available on YouTube.
Among the participants, GPI’s Head of Sales Convenience EMEA, Ellie Patterson spoke about the importance of sustainability. Marking her 28th year working in the packaging industry, she revealed how the environmental performance of packaging materials had exponentially risen to the top of the agenda for consumers, brands and the industry. She highlighted how today, more women are working in packaging, fulfilling roles in all corners of the industry, from sales and marketing to operations and supply chain management. She explained that there are a range of different roles available, and despite the challenges which have emerged over the years – the biggest of which was the pandemic – working in packaging is ‘diverse, resilient and fun’.
Continuing the conversation about sustainability, Elodie Bugnicourt, Sustainability Manager at GPI shared her experience as both a woman and someone with a passion for sustainability. She said, “Sustainability has really become front and centre for our sector and is the main driver for most innovations. For example, previously there have been some innovations in terms of natural bio coatings that weren’t possible to scale, but we are seeing more of these developments reaching the market that allow us to replace alternative fossil-derived materials.”
When questioned on whether she thinks the packaging industry has enough female representation, Elodie explained, “Our industry generally has a lower female representation, but this depends on the position and location. I am a true believer that diversity, equality, and inclusion are strong contributors to a more productive working environment. We need to do a better job to show that a woman can work in positions which are currently under-represented such as manufacturing, where they can play an important role in producing packaging that will make a difference.”
Joining her fellow GPI colleagues, Rosemary Palsson, Plant Director stressed the importance of hiring the right people for the roles available and how this can have a positive impact on a business. Julie Elder, Sustainability Programme Manager EMEA at WestRock, shared her recommendations for how to succeed in a male-dominated environment, encouraging women to ‘be confident in who you are’. And, despite big hurdles ahead – such as upcoming changes in regulations – Julie conveyed her positive attitude, highlighting how by working together in a creative way, the industry can do the right thing for the planet.