As a celebration of International Women’s Day, here is a podcast of panel talk given to the Society of Young Publishers Oxford Branch back in July 2010, on the subject of the Careers of Women in Publishing.
Even though many years have gone by since this speech, much of it remains true today. We as a society may have moved on with many issues, yet females still lag behind in the career stakes. The careers of women go on hold or are stopped altogether by the taking of maternity leave. Those who wish to seek promotion are held back, often because ‘you do your current job so well’, or you are seeking alternatives to the 9 to 5 (in publishing it’s more 9 to 7) routine, so that you can manage family or other commitments.
Then there are the inequalities of the gender pay gap identified in the bookcareers Salary Survey – currently men get paid 15.7 % more than women. Looking at the research it appears that this inequality is happening as there are more men in top jobs and more women are in junior roles up to middle management. It might be that when we compare like with like, the salaries seem the same, but what can we do to ensure there is more parity and equality, especially when it comes to promotion and advancement? How can we progress things if all we do is stay the same?
We need to change. In the talk a previous speaker, Leander Reeves from Oxford Brookes University, said she wanted change in 10 years, not in 20 years but I disagree – we want change immediately and that change needs to come from within. Listen to the recording and see what you can do now to bring on change. It was relevant 8 years ago and sadly it is still very relevant today.