4 Jane Anger discusses the importance of establishing a dialogue with the publishing industry via WiP
Because you come together as a group and do something as a group with a voice that has many voices in it, some would be classed as senior and some not senior, but it doesn’t matter, the fact that an organisation says something within a trade or an area, it puts it on the agenda.
So, saying there should be equality in the industry made the industry discuss it. You couldn’t do that if, you know, Jane Anger wrote to the head of Routledge or whatever and said, ‘Er, I don’t think your employment policies are very fair’, you know [laughs]. You can do it if Wip says, Wip discussed at its latest meeting equalities of opportunity or whatever we were discussing, and then that gets reported in The Bookseller and then somebody responds to that usually and hey presto you’ve got a discussion going. And the power is to create a dialogue. That’s often the first step is to create a dialogue, and if you can create a dialogue then that’s a powerful position to be in.
And the other thing you can do as an organisation is to build allies. So whether you’re talking about sexist language in publishing, or whatever, or whether you are talking about wages, or whether you are talking about who gets recruited to senior positions, or the lack of training in the book industry, or the number of books by women in libraries, that gets reported, that creates a dialogue and you have to create a dialogue.