Baroness Gail Rebuck is to address the issue of women in publishing at FutureBook Live 2019. Joined on the stage by two of the founders of the email newsletter The FLIP (Female Leadership in Publishing) Ella Horne and Helena Gonda, and OWN IT! founder Crystal Mahey-Morgan, Rebuck will discuss the changes in the sector over the past four decades and how today's aspiring female leaders can achieve their ambitions.
Rebuck, chair of Penguin Random House UK, ran Random House for 22 years between 1991 and 2013, having previously been executive chair of Century Hutchinson. Mahey-Morgan founded her publishing and agency business OWN IT! in 2015, having joined Random House in 2009. Horne, marketing manager PRH, and Gonda, editor at Transworld, founded THE FLIP, with the late Sophie Christopher, to highlight women who have "pushed creative boundaries and been leaders in their fields".
The discussion, the final panel of FutureBook Live 2019, will take place at 4pm on 25th November. Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, said: "When I first joined The Bookseller twenty-years ago nearly all of the big publishing groups were run by women, and it seemed unfathomable that this would not continue to be the case; but today none of the top four conglomerates are female led, though there are some incredibly influential publishing women working at all levels across the sector.
"There is no-one better to dissect what happened during that period, and look to a better future than Gail, one of the true female pioneers in the business. That she will be joined to discuss this by the next generation of leaders, Ella, Helena, and Crystal--a cohort rightly unwilling to wait for their turn at the top table--will make this an unmissable session at FutureBook Live."
Baroness Rebuck said: "It is a timely moment to look at the issue of women in publishing. I thought that the original Women in Publishing, launched in 1979, had transformed the role of women in the industry. However, with the launch of The FLIP in 2019 and the thousands of responses to their call to action, the issue of women in publishing is clearly still a very live issue."
The subject of leadership in publishing will also be discussed by Katie Espiner, m.d. of Orion, in her keynote interview at the beginning of the day, and is a running theme throughout the day. This panel, the first announced so far, also signals how FutureBook Live will be discussing the big issues the book business is grappling with not just those defined by digital or innovation; these include leadership, freedom to publish, Artificial Intelligence (AI), audio, open access, global publishing, the cultural importance of books, and events-led selling.
The panel joins an incredible line up for FutureBook Live 2019, including Waterstones m.d. James Daunt, the brand strategist behind #Merky Books Akua Agyemfra, AI specialist Chris Duffey, data analyst Paul Abbassi, a.k.a. Data Guy, and Espiner.
There is now just one week to go to secure tickets at Early Bird rates.
The coveted FutureBook Awards are also now open for submissions, including BookTech Company of the Year, Podcast of the Year, and the FutureBook Person of the Year, who will once again deliver the closing keynote.
As well as attending the conference, for the first time delegates can apply to attend Day of Code, a training event hosted by Consonance on 22nd November. Only 40 places are up for grabs, so book early to avoid disappointment.