Christina Neuwirth on ‘Quantitative evidence of gender inequality’

Quantitative evidence of gender inequality in contemporary Scottish publishing

Join us for this week’s CuSPP Seminar

Thursday 14 November, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL

The UK publishing industry has an equality problem. Much recent research has evidenced systemic gender, ethnicity and class bias (‘In Full Colour: Cultural Diversity in Publishing Today’ 2004; Squires 2017; Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics, n.d.; Ramdarshan Bold 2018; Brook, O’Brien, and Taylor 2018; Wood 2019). However, specific evidence is missing from the Scottish literary sector: while VIDA (2018) and the recent Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critics report have shown biases in UK reviewing, their work’s scope does not include Scottish national newspapers; while Griffith (2015) has shown gender bias in UK and US literary awards, the dataset does not include Scottish awards; and although gender pay gap reporting in the UK showed average differences in pay between men and women “from 11.3% to 29.69%” (Flood 2018), Scottish publishers were exempt from reporting as they comprise mostly small and medium enterprises (Ramdarshan Bold 2012). This paper examines gender equality publishing output by Scottish publishers Jan-Dec 2017, reviewing in Scottish national newspapers Jan-Dec 2017, and three selected literary festivals and their programming, Jan-Dec 2017. Building on the work of Stevie Marsden (2016; 2019) on gender equality in the Saltire Society Literary Awards, this paper also examines two suites of literary awards, the James Tait Black Prizes 1919-2018, and the Saltire Society Literary Awards 1965-2018.

Christina Neuwirth is the recipient of the Arts and Humanities Research Council/Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities Creative Economy Studentship “Women of Words”, and is currently completing her PhD in Publishing Studies at University of Stirling, University of Glasgow and Scottish Book Trust. Her fiction and non-fiction writing has been published in various anthologies, journals and magazines in the UK, and her debut novella Amphiban (Speculative Books) was published in 2018. @ChristinaNwrth

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