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Survey reveals industry-wide pay disparity in publishing

Later today (16/12) the House of Commons will vote on a bill brought forward by Labour MP Sarah Champion that would make the need for large companies to reveal the disparities in their workers’ salaries legally binding. If passed, the bill could make for some uncomfortable publicity for publishing firms in particular, with a recent survey carried out by independent careers consultancy Bookcareers.com suggesting industry-wide failures on the gender wage gap and the disparity between entry level and salary average pay.

From a sample size of 901 respondents – 81.8% of whom were female – the survey found that, on average, men working in publishing are paid 16% more than women: a pay disparity of around two months’ wages per year.

Though the average salary for the industry increased by 13.2% since 2008 – up to £28,661 per year from £24,871 – entry level salaries have only increased by 2.7%, up from £17,300 in 2008 to £17,775. That means there is now a difference of 61.2% between entry level and salary average, a massive increase of 17.4% from 2008’s figure of 43.8%. 80.2% of respondents to the survey were aged 35 or under.

The survey also reveals a serious issue of diversity within publishing, with 93.7% of respondents describing themselves as White British. This, alarmingly, is an increase of 3% on 2008’s figures, despite campaigns to broaden the field carried out by the likes of Creative Access and Equip.

Suzanne Collier – who founded Bookcareers.com and authored the survey – says of the findings: ‘The industry needs to take a long hard look at itself if it wants to attract and retain staff with the best skills and competencies.  I think that diversity will only truly address itself properly when publishers pay everyone on a work experience placement and entry level salaries start to mirror other industries which take staff fresh from university.

bookcareers.com, pay disparity, survey, wage gap

Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris Ward writes and says things about books and music and films and what have you, even when no one is reading or listening.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.

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