Women Dominate Publishing

According to recent articles in Publishers Weekly and The Writer’s Chronicle publishing is a woman’s place. 85% of all publishing employees with fewer than three years experience are now women.

Agent Jason Pinter says, “I hope it doesn’t get worse–if 85% of the industry is female–it’s hard to think that acquisitions aren’t in some way affected by that.” But Lindy Hess, director of the graduate Columbia Publishing Course, compares publishing to teaching: a field traditionally open to women. She also added that women tend to read more then men!

And add to that insult (for men!) the Washington Post wrote that in the years 2008-2009, for the first time in U.S. history, women earned more doctorates than men. According to the Council of Graduate Schools: 28,962 doctoral degrees went to women and 28,469 to men.

But what about ‘show me the money’? Well, here men out score women. According to Publishers Weekly’s survey of publishing salaries, women are making $64,600 compared to $105,130 for men. (In the academic world, male faculty members at universities earned an average of $16,606 more than females in the academic year 2009-10.)

Putting the money aside, men still lead (in all categories ) in watching football games on Sunday afternoons.


Leave a comment
  • Alas, what this probably means is that publishing is losing status. Consider: when women first rode horses (astride), drove cars, flew planes, men had already moved on to the next cool, manly thing with the higher salaries.

    I think it has been true for a long time that women are the big book buyers and givers. I don’t think it has much to do with teaching, but with raising kids and reading to them. All that may be changing, too. We live in interesting cultural times.

  • True that: when I worked in the Perseus Books production office, I was one of 4 men in an office of 45 people. Of course, my new profession—teaching—is roughly the same, and now I have two daughters….

  • Maybe it’s a good thing that I have a name usually associated with women (except in Finland and Scotland).

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