Hachette UK’s Gender Balance Network has organised a free virtual event on 2nd September to explore equality and transparency.
Entitled "Gender balance and pay transparency: in publishing and beyond", it aims to be an open and inclusive conversation structured around a morning panel. There will also be a midday panel, an afternoon keynote speaker and an optional post-event conversation. Speakers include The Literary Consultancy director Aki Schilz, literary agent Nelle Andrew, English PEN events and partnership manager Hannah Trevarthen, and Ella Horne, senior marketing manager at Penguin Random House and co-creator of The FLIP newsletter.
Hachette UK’s Gender Balance Network, which works to ensure balanced recruitment and progression for all genders, said: “The event aims to open up discussions, raise awareness and improve understanding around gender balance and the pay gap, especially within the publishing industry. Issues to be covered include those which stem from pay gap discrepancy, starting early in careers, pensions and leapfrogging within careers."
The morning panel will kick off on 2nd September at 10 a.m., and is titled "What does gender balance look like?" Chaired by Andrew, an agent at Rachel Mills Literary, the discussion will look at how hopes for gender-balanced workplaces and workforces could and should translate into concrete change. Panelists include Trevarthen, Federica Cocco, a Financial Times journalist and diversity officer at the Financial Times NUJ chapel, as well as Jennie Kermode, author of Transgender Employees in the Workplace: A Guide for Employers (Jessica Kingsley), and Charlotte Woodworth, gender equality campaign director at charity Business in the Community.
The next panel will look at how gender balance issues specifically apply to the publishing industry, organisers said. It will be chaired by Zainab Juma, brand campaign manager at Penguin Random House. Participants include Hamza Jahanzeb, Bookseller Rising Star, Suzanne Collier, founder of bookcareers.com along with Horne and Saskia Bewley, head of diversity and inclusion at Hachette UK.
The 4 p.m. keynote speech comes from Schilz, who campaigns for systemic change and founded the #BookJobTransparency campaign. Her speech will pose the question: "How are conversations on pay transparency progressing following ever-increasing attention on this issue in the publishing industry?"
The event forms a key part of Hachette UK’s Gender Balance Network’s outreach agenda for 2021 and, in line with the network’s commitment to representation and inclusion, tickets will be free and open to all. For those who can afford it, a donation of £5 is suggested, which will go directly to the Equal Pay Advice Service set up by The Fawcett Society.
Niamh Anderson, events co-ordinator, and Ellen Harber and Emma Petfield, co-chairs of Hachette UK's Gender Balance Network, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting this event on behalf of Hachette UK’s Gender Balance Network, but we hope that members of the publishing industry and beyond will be encouraged to attend. The issues raised are pertinent to every working adult, and we are delighted to be bringing together such a talented range of individuals to spotlight these important issues.”
All who register to attend will later receive links for the chance to watch the events back within a limited time frame. Those interested can register to attend here.