It is fairly accepted that women excel in the world of publishing. Gender bias, when it comes to publishing, is not a topic that comes up too terribly often. In fact, a recent study by Lee & Low showed that white women make up the bulk of the publishing world. The study looked at 70 publishers in North America and the findings were that 79% of the industry was white and 78% were women. The study even found that 84% of employees at the editorial level were white women.
Female authors are often celebrated, and we are lucky to be involved in an industry where women do not often have to fight for status, compared to other industries. The Lee & Low study, however, provides insights that reflect the status of authors and publishers of color in the industry. While these findings are important to discuss, it interesting to note that the study focused on book publishing. While the findings show that women have an equal standing in the community of book publishers, where do women fit in when it comes to other markets?
Historically, women have been dismissed when it comes to math and science. A study published this September has shown that this bias still exists in scholarly publishing. The study, conducted by the American Geophysical Union, concluded that while women are more often published, they are less likely to be asked to review and edit journals than men. Additionally, while women are more often published, overall they submit fewer papers than men in the same field.
The implications of these studies are clear. Ultimately women in publishing have a stronger standing than women in other professions, however there is still a glass ceiling when it comes to scholarly publishing. Not only should we focus on creating and supporting spaces for authors and publishers of color in the industry, but we should also continue to fight for women in academic publishing.