Written by: Dik Bolger
G enevieve Bolger, my mother, was a trail blazer for Women in the printing industry. Gen served on multiple national printing boards including Printing Industry of America, NAPL, and Typesetting Industry of America.
She also served locally on the Printing Industry of Minnesota Board. This involvement occurred during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. During that period of time there simply were very few women involved with the print industry. She was always the only woman in the meetings.
”At large industry events the room would have 1000 men and Gen. The speaker would start the meeting with “gentlemen and Mrs.Bolger”.
She was not intimidated to be the only woman and in fact found it useful since she could not be ignored. She told me the story of going to an event at The Minneapolis Men’s Club in the 80’s with my Father John. They walked up the steps to the front door and the doorman said, “ excuse me, women must enter the club via the back door.” I asked her what she did. She said, I did the only thing I could, I ignored the bastard and kept walking. That policy was changed after Muriel Humphrey and Joan Mondale refused to speak at the MAC until it was changed.
My Mother received many awards of distinction for her service in the Printing Industry. The award that she took the most enjoyment from was being named Man of The Year for the Printing Industry of America. She was the first Woman to get the award, which was changed to Person of the Year. She chuckled about that for the rest of her life. She was a strong, smart, powerhouse of a human. Mentor to many and respected by most.