PublisHer, the network that "strives for gender equality in publishing", will launch a free mentorship scheme to assist women seeking guidance from professionals in the industry.
Beginning in September, the scheme will take place via one-hour video meetings, with high-profile mentors including Maria Pallante, the c.e.o. of the Association of American Publishers, Anne Bergman-Tahon, the director of the Federation of European Publishers, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, co-founder and publishing director of Cassava Republic Press, South African publishing entrepreneur and Blackbird Books founder Thabiso Mahlape, and Tracey Armstrong, c.e.o. of the Copyright Clearance Center, among others.
PublisHer founder Bodour Al Qasimi (pictured) — who is c.e.o. of Kalimat Publishing Group and current vice-president of the International Publishers Association — said that female mentorship is lacking in publishing. “The women we speak to consistently call for mentorship, and it is something our board feels very passionately about," she said. "This is why we have started this scheme, and why it is among the recommendations in the PublisHer Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines, which we released in July. We believe mentorship will create positive ripple effects in the publishing sector, adding immediate value but also by inspiring mentees to support other women around them.”
Women seeking publishing mentorship are advised to write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The organisation is also launching a YouTube series, which will see recorded conversations with women in the industry from around the world speak to journalists from the publishing sphere.
The first conversation will see Nairobi-based journalist, writer, performer and media trainer Maimouna Jallow interview Angela Wachuka, founding partner at Book Bunk, an initiative that seeks to restore Nairobi's historic libraries.