By Hristina Nikolovska
Even though we live in the 21st century, employees around the world still face gender inequality. According to the latest statistics about women in the workforce, numbers are not in favor of women. For starters, the pay gap between men and women is 20%, and for every dollar that a man earns, a woman earns $0.82.
These problems occur across multiple industries. While it’s not strange to see more men employed in male-dominated industries, such as construction or automotive services, the gender gap in other industries like tech is painful. For example, the number of female software engineers has increased by only 2% over the past 20 years. Do employers focus on men on purpose, and is there a hidden agenda?
Employing Men Over Women
If a man and a woman have the same qualifications and apply for the same job, the chances are that the man will get it. Typically, employers believe that men are more capable of having various roles. On the other hand, there seems to be a mutual understanding among women. If a woman is an employer, more women will get hired compared to a situation where a man is in a position to decide. All issues aside, it seems that women dominate most industries, but looks can be deceiving. The publishing industry is an excellent example.
What’s Going on Inside the Publishing Industry
Publishing is often considered to be a female job. It revolves around emotional intelligence and creativity. There are a lot of soft skills necessary to work with authors and their pieces of writing. Unfortunately, when the statistics get broken down, the numbers paint a different picture. While there’s a majority of women in the editorial department, the executive positions see fewer women involved.
In 2017, there were only two female CEOs among the top 30 publishers. The pay gap also exists, and it’s a reflection of men taking on higher-level roles. That only proves that even though women are pillars of the publishing industry, men will find their way to the top.
Gender Inequality Among Authors
It’s not the gender inequality burden per se that’s been placed on the authors—it’s a fear of recognition. Many female authors decide to use the male pseudonym to explore what it’s like to publish as a man. That way, they could experience anonymity, reach a male audience, and publish without prejudice.
It seems that nothing has changed since the 19th century when the Bronte sisters published their works under male names. Today, J.K. Rowling is just one example. She used the pen name Robert Galbraith to publish Cormoran Strike novels. However, there seems to be a difference. While female authors of the past feared public judgment and used the new identity as an escape, female authors of today use male pen names to distance themselves from their previous work. Today’s reason seems a tad bit better.
Unconscious Bias and Books
Many female authors felt the pressure of unconscious bias on their skin. Some have sent their manuscript to publishers and received a meager number of responses, but the numbers increased when they used male pen names. Books written by women are also priced 45% less than those written by men.
Fewer women are featured in publications than men, which can be considered strange since women generally buy and read more books. When it comes to purchasing, people are usually inclined to buy books written by their gender. This only means that the readership also expresses unconscious bias.
Gender inequality has been a problem in society ever since the beginning of time. It’s not strange to have fewer female employees in the industries where there’s a lot of physical work involved, but it’s strange to see men rising to the top in industries that should be female-oriented. The publishing industry has witnessed such cases.
More women have lower-level jobs, which reinforces the idea that women don’t belong in the publishing industry. Past and present situations show that female authors do better if presented as males, and the unconscious bias of publishing agents often confirms it. This leads to the conclusion that it’s not just about employing men, but about the lack of understanding the society has for women.
Read “27 Enlightening Women in the Workforce Statistics for 2020” on TeamStage for more information.
As the SEO manager of TeamStage, Tina also relies on her degree in Modern English & Literature to write about the importance of project and team management in executing a successful strategy, top to bottom. Off work, she likes to look for the perfect green curry spots, explore temples in Southeast Asia, and treat herself to cheesecake and matcha latte, in that order.
Lisa Tener, Book Coach says
Somehow I would have expected more of people who loves books, but publishing is just as backward gender-wise as most industries. I hope that changes. Thanks for the statistics and breakdown.