1 Sue Bennett remembers the birth of Oxford WiP at the first WiP conference, 'Publishing, A Gentleman's Profession?'


I have to confess that I hadn’t heard of Women in Publishing, prior to these leaflets from the ’83 Women in Publishing Conference, and I thought  ‘Oh how interesting a Women in Publishing, oh that’s interesting’,  interesting, you know, and it was a very accessible price, got up to London and went along and had this really interesting day.

Lots of women, probably a hundred or so women.  And in the Plenary Session somebody stood up and said, ‘I think there’s quite a lot of people, as I look round the room, I think there are a lot of people who I recognise from Oxford publishing, and I’m wondering if anyone’s interested in meeting again, in Oxford?’

So I stood up and said,  ‘Well I’m from Oxford and I work at OUP, and if anyone wants to come to talk to me at the end of the session then I’d be only too pleased.  You know let’s see how many people are.  I don’t know how many people are from Oxford’ – because, you know, I couldn’t tell.

And as I walked to the back of the room and turned round and there was this sea of women all coming down, all smiling at me looking terribly expectant, and my first thought was ‘Oh my Lord, what have I done?’ You know, what have I unleashed.

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