The sixth edition of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars—our annual list of industry up-and-comers—launches at an opportune moment. The EU Referendum result will undoubtedly bring with it a period of uncertainty for the trade, one that may last years. Luckily, the Rising Stars Class of 2016 are used to change. Battle hardened by the upheaval of recent years, they are brimming with new ideas, finding different ways of working and testing out business models.
Rising Stars once again runs in association with the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF), and for the first time sponsored by Redwood Publishing Recruitment. One of the draws for both of these organisations’ support is that many of the Rising Stars have been tested by the shifting landscape. Theresa Duncan, director of Redwood, says: “With jobs becoming more competitive and demanding in an ever-changing industry, Rising Stars is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring trade professionals, who have gone above and beyond their day to day roles, to demonstrate their hard work and passion.”
The Rising Stars list has never been aged-based and that remains the case, with some of this year’s number bringing expertise from other industries, such as Pan Macmillan’s Lara Borlenghi, and there are also trade veterans who have shifted gears to explore new opportunities, like Golden Egg Academy’s Imogen Cooper.
For the third year, we have selected a Shooting Star, a Rising Star we want to single out for a little more praise. Trapeze’s Emma Smith (right) is the 2016 recipient, and FBF will award her a package to help further her career, including a free trip to FBF 2016, networking opportunities and funding to put towards business trips.
It should be pointed out that this is the tip of the iceberg. We were inundated with a record number of nominations and there were so many hugely talented people we unfortunately had to omit.
The make-up of the list has changed this year: 20% of the Rising Stars come from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background. Interestingly, this is not positive discrimination on our part but reflective of the overall nominations. The diversity issue has been to the fore in recent years, and the Rising Stars BAME percentage may be mirroring hiring practices, especially at junior level. One thing that hasn’t changed (again, reflective of nominations) is the fact that women dominate: just 17.5% of the list are men.
The Rising Stars 2016 represent the best and brightest of the next generation of leaders who are well equipped to handle whatever “Brexit”, or any other future ructions, throw at them. We are in good hands.
See the full list of Rising Stars 2016 here.