Is the Publishing Industry Moving Towards Greater Gender Equality?
Diversity and inclusivity in the publishing industry has been under huge scrutiny over the past few years. In addition to employing more people from a diverse range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, gender inequality has also been highlighted as an area needing improvement.
The UK Publishers Association compiles an annual report highlighting the state of the publishing industry each year. The association set a five-year target, aiming to have “at least 50 percent of leadership and executive level roles occupied by women by 2022 across the industry.”
In 2019, their goal was achieved three years earlier than anticipated, with women holding 55 percent of the British publishing industry’s senior leadership and executive-level roles.
On the subject of diversity and inclusivity in publishing, David Shelley, President of the Publishers Association and CEO of Hachette UK, said in their most recent report:
“During my presidency the Publishers Association has produced guidance for publishers on collecting author data so that in the future we will have good quality information on author demographics. This is an integral step in informing our inclusivity work going forward and being able to measure our progress.
We have a very long way to go, but accurate data is a key first step. We all need to keep tracking our progress and moving forward with the work we have been doing, collectively and as individual companies, to bring more people from underrepresented groups into the industry. This is as much a moral imperative as it is a business imperative and is vital for the future health of our industry.”
Though the statistics paint a promising picture of the once male-dominated publishing industry becoming more equal for men and women, with the distribution of females in senior positions heading in the right direction, there are still major issues with how women are paid compared to their male counterparts at the same levels of seniority.
The bottom line is, the Gender Pay Gap is still unacceptably high in a business sector where women are becoming far more numerous than men. For publishing to truly become an egalitarian, representative and fair industry, women need to be paid, as a bare minimum, the same amount as men who are in the same roles and at the same levels as they are.
Article by Melissa Brannlund – connect with me on Twitter @MelBrannlund
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