Today, it seems, is a day I am going to be easily irritated.
“In PW’s recent Salary Survey (Aug. 2) one statistic stuck out: 85% of employees with less than three years of experience in the industry are women. So, while everyone knows there are more women than men working in this business, that statistic raises the question: is an almost all-female publishing industry bad for business? Does it matter?”
The article goes on to suggest that acquisitions might be affected, that women might start acquiring women-only books, and the literature of America will suffer because of gender imbalance! Dear lord, protect us from the females and their girly taste!
Thank you, PW, for bringing up the gender gap issue and missing the key point (or at least, what is for me the key point). It lies in those words “with less than three years of experience.” Because the statistic doesn’t hold–women are not promoted and advanced the way men are. I won’t rattle off my own personal evidence here, but I don’t even need to–the article goes on to obliquely reference the fact:
“As our salary survey indicated, women make on average $64,600 compared to men, $105,130.”
So coincidentally, although there is a 4:1 (or higher) ratio among entry-level publishing professionals, as an industry AVERAGE men are obviously in much higher-paid positions of power? In order to make up for the incredible discrepancy at one end of that spectrum and end up at the incredible discrepancy at the other, exactly how much glass-ceiling oppression and old-boy promotion must be accomplished? A lot. Just … a whole heck of a lot.
And you want to talk about unfairness? And people are seriously making noise about the possibility that there might not be enough books for men (?!?) acquired?
Just a little side note. We editors, male or female, must acquire what makes money. This is part of the glass ceiling. The gender of an editor does not always match the gender of the money, FYI.
I actually had to step out and buy myself a hot chocolate after reading this. Blargh.