As a bonus to our series of posts for Global Goals week, we thought we would concentrate on a specific goal, namely SDG 5: Gender Equality.

Research has shown time and again that companies with diverse leaderships perform better, which includes having a balance of women in senior, decision-making roles.

Surveys from the USA (Lee & Low) and the UK Publishers Association have shown that while publishing employs markedly more women than men, there is a gender gap at the board level.

This discrepancy has not gone unnoticed; in the UK, the Publishers Association created a 10-point action plan that within three short years has tipped the balance to 55% of British leadership and executive-level roles being held by women. However, this outcome remains the exception, with the fate of publishing in many markets still almost entirely in the hands of men.

One international response was the creation of the PublisHer network in 2019 by IPA Vice President Bodour Al Qasimi, to provide a space for bookwomen to strategize and address the global industry’s gender problem. By blending serious with social, PublisHer has polled female publishers around the world, asking them what has been holding them back.

In June PublisHer released its Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines to help publishing companies create fair, meritocratic professional cultures where gender and other identifiers are secondary details. PublisHer’s intention is to develop these guidelines into a comprehensive toolkit in 2021.

Now in its second year, PublisHer is currently releasing a series of recorded virtual conversations with inspiring bookwomen from around the world, called PublisHer #Unmasked. The discussions are moving around the world a region at a time, covering Africa, Asia, North America, the Caribbean, the Arab world and Europe.  

Watch all of these conversations on PublisHer’s YouTube channel and subscribe to avoid missing out on a new #Unmasked interview every Thursday.