Australian publishing industry is largely white and female

 The Australian publishing industry is largely white, overwhelmingly female and has double the number of respondents who identify as LGBTQ+, compared to estimates of the Australian population.  These are some of the conclusions of the Australian Publishing Industry Workforce Survey on Diversity and Inclusion, carried out by researchers at Melbourne University. 

The report concluded:‘The industry is largely white, including a high percentage who identify as British; less than 10% identify with an Asian culture, and less than 11% with a European (non-British) heritage’.  The Australian Publishers Association (APA) added that fewer than 1% of Australian publishing industry professionals identify as First Nations.

Researchers discovered that 84% of respondents were women, with 2% identifying as non-binary or other, while 21% identify as LGBTQ+, compared with estimates of 11% in the Australian population. More than 85% of respondents hold a degree, and more than half hold at least one postgraduate degree, compared to 24% of the Australian population holding an undergraduate degree.

While women make up the majority of the Australian publishing workforce, representation from women and non-binary people declines in more senior positions, the survey found.

Commenting on the results, APA president James Kellow said: “Our workforce doesn’t always represent the breadth of our culture. This plays into what and how we publish and the extent to which we reach, or don’t reach, all potential readers … This survey’s hard data tells us we have a great deal of work ahead and provides a solid base from which we can lead change as an association, as publishing houses, and as individuals.”