Rebekah Borucki: Publishing – The Devaluing of Difference

September 15, 2021

In the process of selling my first book, I spoke to several editors at major publishing houses. One editor revealed that she was thankful her workplace was “not gendered in any way.” In that moment, I realized how much we all take inequality for granted at work. This made me determined to find a way to explain how systemic this issue is and how most workplaces don’t work for men and women in the same way—even industries that aren’t seemingly male dominated. In fact, the publishing industry is a great example of this. While women make up a large proportion of employees in the industry, men maintain a hold on positions of power. In 2018, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) in the United Kingdom reported that while women make up almost two-thirds of the workforce in publishing, men are paid more on average. Reasons cited for this included the higher number of men in senior roles; the higher proportion of women in lower pay brackets; and the higher number of women with flexible work arrangements.

These issues could describe just about any industry because nearly all workplaces are gendered—they were built by men, for men. But it’s not always obvious how this negatively impacts women at work from day to day. Nor how this plays out differently when we consider the intersecting identities women have. 

Joining us on today’s episode is Rebekah Borucki, Founder and President, Row House Publishing, Inc.

Row House Publishing is on an incredible mission to support diverse communities within the book publishing industry. On this episode Rebekah will unpack inequality within the publishing industry and what we can do to tackle it.