Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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US survey finds publishing industry workforce 79% white, 78% female

In the US, the results from publisher Lee & Low’s ‘Diversity Baseline’ survey of the workforce at 34 book publishers and eight review journals have been released. The survey found 79% of staff are white and 78% are women, with Asians/Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders making up 7.2% of staff, Hispanics/Latinos/Mexicans making up 5.5% and Black/African Americans making up 3.5%. The race disparity is even more pronounced in executive (86% white), editorial (82%) and book reviewing roles (89%), while men are close to parity at the executive level (40%). The survey also found 88% of respondents identify as straight/heterosexual, and 7.6% identify as having a disability. Lee & Low write that ‘while all racial/ethnic minorities are underrepresented when compared to the general US population, the numbers show that some groups, such as Black/African Americans, are more severely underrepresented’. The publisher also acknowledged the challenge of creating a list of ethnicities—which was based on the US census—that ‘depicted the complexity of the question’, noting that they had more than 50 comments from people who did not feel that any of the options adequately represented them. As previously reported by Books+Publishing, the survey was announced in September last year.


Category: International news