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The Return of Print?: Contemporary Australian Publishing


Bookish Girls

Gender and Leadership in Australian Trade Publishing


In 2013, a very public reflection on cultural perceptions of female leadership was triggered by two events: Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech, and her dismissal as both Labor Leader and Prime Minister in the lead-up to the federal election campaign. As this unfolded, I was researching the status of female leadership in Australian trade publishing for my Master’s thesis, and wondered whether an industry that tends to be well educated, left wing, low paying and brimming with female workers1 could resist the pull of Australia’s clear cultural preference for male leadership.2

Much recent commentary suggests that women are still significantly less likely to reach the upmost tiers of the publishing industry (Treasure; Howden; Dattner ‘Open Letter’; Thompson). But such claims are largely based on anecdotal evidence and personal experience; I felt that it was important to investigate this issue heuristically, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to reach empirical findings.

A wide body of gender-based workplace theory finds that good leadership is traditionally associated with a cluster of stereotypically ‘male’ attributes, such as being assertive, decisive and rational (Eagly and Carli 66; Eagly and Karau). On the other hand, poor leadership is associated with a cluster of stereotypically ‘female’ qualities, such as being self-deprecating, nurturing and sensitive (Kaufman 28). These notions of leadership can be restrictive for both sexes, but have three particular adverse outcomes for women: firstly, women are not promoted to leadership roles because of their gender; secondly, stereotypes can cause women to have lower self-esteem and to be doubtful of their abilities (Rutherford 16; Karelaia and Guillén); thirdly, women, even when promoted, are judged in a harsher light than their male counterparts (Ryan and Haslam 550; Koenig et al.; Elsesser and Lever 1557). The last consequence is exacerbated when women are distinct minorities within senior management teams. As Heilman writes: ‘Since there rarely is a high concentration of women at upper management levels, the salience of sex is likely to be quite high, providing an impetus for stereotypic thinking’ (882).

Despite the strides women have made in the workplace, office cultures still usually reflect a set of stereotypically masculine notions about employees (Rutherford 37–38). Research has shown, for example, that in the United States marriage and parenthood translate to higher wages for men but not for women (Eagly and Carli 64–65). There is a fundamental clash between the long-hours culture that persists in many workplaces and the demands of motherhood. While in theory, modern forward-thinking workplaces (of the kind you would expect to find in the publishing industry) might not intentionally discriminate between male and female workers, it is still commonly assumed that raising children is primarily the responsibility of the mother (Rutherford; Eagly and Carli). This perception, coupled with the fact that most high-powered jobs are incompatible with the demands of child rearing, produces a significant barrier to women’s progress in the workplace (Hakim; Rutherford; Eagly and Carli).

I sought to investigate whether or not the Australian publishing industry equitably supports the professional development of female workers by measuring the gender ratios in the senior management teams of 90 Australian trade publishers. These ratios were tallied in both senior management roles (S) and the chief executive or principal (P) position of large and mid-sized trade publishers, as well as a select set of small publishers. Given the large number of small publishers in Australia, not all such organsations could be measured and this investigation was limited to publishers that met three criteria: they had to be members of either the Small Press Network (SPN) or the Australian Publishers Association (APA); they had to have published at least one book in 2012; and information about the publisher’s management team needed to be readily available through the APA directory, on a company website, or by reply to an email enquiry. Via these means, I generated a sample set of 90 Australian publishers, including 73 small publishers (defined as independent houses that published between 1 and 20 titles in 2012), 11 mid-sized publishers (defined as independent houses that published between 21 and 100 titles in 2012), and 6 large publishers3 (defined as houses that published in excess of 101 titles in 2012). Five of the six are subsidiaries of multinationals.


Figure 2.1: Percentage gender dispersions of senior management teams (S) and company principals (P) in the Australian trade-publishing industry.

These results are open to interpretation, but there were several clear conclusions.

More women are company principals in small publishers. There are a number of likely reasons for this, one being that women can start and run their own small publishing businesses. Small houses also tend to be more egalitarian and less commercially driven. Workers in small companies are also more exposed to their bosses and less likely to go unnoticed and unrewarded for good performance (Colgan and Tomlinson).

Women outnumber men on senior management teams in all three categories, with female representation peaking at 61% in small publishers. However, the number of women in senior management teams still falls far short of their representation in the overall workforce: women make up about 73% of the workforce of Australia’s 20 biggest publishing companies (Lee et al. 38), but my results show women holding only 58% of the senior management positions in mid-size publishers, and just 55% in large houses. There is no real consensus on how closely proportionate we expect women’s participation in leadership teams to be.

The statistics clearly indicate that men are significantly more likely to principal large and mid-sized trade publishers; here the male-to-female ratio nearly inverts compared to the ratio across the whole industry. This is strong evidence that, as the commercial stakes rise, a preference for male leadership increases.

Despite evidence of disparity, the often-used ‘glass ceiling’ metaphor—which suggests an elusive, near impenetrable barrier—ignores the large (if not proportionate) number of women who have reached the industry’s highest tiers, who are too numerous to be considered anomalies. Nonetheless, women, by and large, are still confronted with hurdles that men are not, a fact that is indicated by the disproportionately high number of men achieving senior management and leadership positions. This aligns with Eagly and Carli’s view that career-ambitious women face challenges analogous to a maze: reaching the highest tiers of an industry ‘requires persistence, awareness of one’s progress, and a careful analysis of the puzzles that lie ahead’ (64).

In order to make better sense of this data, interviews were conducted with a variety of women who occupy senior roles in trade publishing. These interviews were intended to: 1) understand the participants’ personal experiences as women in the industry; 2) assess the parallels and divergences in the women’s experiences—this was an attempt to understand if there is a typical path to female leadership; 3) assess the participants’ collective accounts alongside the quantitative data, interpreting each in light of the other. What follows is an analysis of the more illuminating questions these interviews raised.

Why Do So Many Women Work in Publishing?

The women interviewed were attracted to the creative aspects of publishing work. Most had pursued it over other creative fields because of a love of books and reading that stretched back to their childhoods. This aligns with Colgan and Tomlinson’s assertion that women are usually more inclined than men to choose creative work over high-paying work (17). CEO of Melbourne University Publishing, Louise Adler, shared another, perhaps more intangible, perception as to the large female workforce in publishing. She argued that the nature of publishing work mirrors the work stereotypically assigned to women in wider culture:

It’s actually about being other people’s handmaidens, which is a classic female role. You do the editing, you clean up the text, you promote the author, you help the author in and out of taxis, you meet them at the airport, you send them reviews, you support them wholeheartedly and without the expectation of gratitude, just like a good wife.

She added that women are usually less confident than men:

When you ask a man: ‘Why don’t you write a book?’ He says: ‘Oh, that’s a good idea’. If you ask a woman the same thing, she says: ‘Do you think I could?’ That’s the difference, the self-doubt.

Obviously Adler was generalising for the sake of making her point, but this idea perhaps adds something to the picture of why so many women work in publishing. Many gender theorists argue along similar lines to Adler, maintaining that women often have lower self-esteem than men as result of socialisation processes (Rutherford 16; Henry 151). As Rutherford critically notes: ‘The current vogue is to see these traits [self-doubt, modesty] as innately feminine rather than developing out of structural positions of inferiority and superiority’ (16).

It is conceivable that self-doubt—and its likely bedfellows, modesty and assiduousness—in some ways help and in other ways hinder women. Another woman,4 who worked at a large educational publisher at the beginning of her career, gave me a specific example of how this idea manifests; she recalled consulting her boss over the appointment of a marketing coordinator: ‘She wanted a young woman … her idea was they were more likely to do as they were told and stay in the job and not try and move up as soon as they were trained.’

In this instance, feminine self-doubt (because, essentially, that is the trait described) was looked upon as desirable. This is not surprising and, in some ways, modesty is inherent in the nature of publishing work; publishers carry out their work behind the scenes, improving an author’s words, packaging those words in between glossy, carefully designed covers, and bringing the words into the public sphere, where little credit is afforded them. Here is an industry fundamentally concerned with the realisation of other people’s creativity and, as Bryony Cosgrove—who has worked at Penguin and as head of the publishing course at the University of Melbourne—told me, ‘There’s room for only one large ego, and that’s the author’s.’

Although it might be easier for women to find an entry point into publishing, the quantitative data evidences that their passage upwards is steeper. It is likely that self-doubt plays some part here too. As Heilman et al. write, women ‘as a group are unlikely to be confident about their ability to succeed in a leadership position, whereas men as a group are confident about their ability in this regard’ (67).

Is Female Leadership Impeded by Motherhood?

Most of the participants had juggled work and the responsibility of being the primary carer for young children. Many had also had staff with small children. Words such as ‘challenge’, ‘torn’ and ‘struggle’ were often used to describe the clash between family and work. The participants all held the view that, in culturally stereotypical terms, the child-rearing role still falls disproportionately on mothers.

Most of the mothers in the group had, in their own ways, struck some sort of balance. This had involved a careful compromise between work and home.

Some of the participants were pragmatic when I asked them if they thought senior part-time work existed for working mothers in the publishing industry. For example, Foong Ling Kong, who was working as a publisher at Allen & Unwin at the time, said: ‘Unfortunately, you do have to work full-time to maintain a presence.’ Along similar lines, Adler told me that working mothers will usually have a ‘five year lull’ in their careers. Adler had her children when she was working at Reed Books in the 1980s and insisted on leaving work at 4p.m. each day when they were young. She recognised that this might, at least in the short term, have consequences for her career. Adler displayed obvious sympathy for the challenges working mothers face, but thought that a truly satisfying balance verged on the unreachable. She said:

I understand being torn and I am sad that not much has changed since the second-wave of feminism in the seventies argued that the personal is political. I watch young mothers in the publishing industry today and realise nothing has changed.

When I visited Melbourne University Publishing to interview Adler, I met two of the company’s current working mothers, both with young children. Both women were working part-time and were reasonably content with the division between their working and home lives. One of the women said: ‘You choose. When you have young children you make choices about the flexibility you need in the short term.’

Kong, who also happened to work under Adler at Melbourne University Publishing when her child was younger, was clear that a satisfying balance is difficult to strike, particularly within the structure of a traditional workplace:

I’ve always said [to employers], ‘number one, my child is not negotiable. Number two, I’m not going to work full time. Even if you want me to, I don’t want to work full time’. But what always happens in this industry, of course, is that everyone who works part-time packs a full-time load into those hours.

Kong thought that freelancing work sometimes offers working mothers a more satisfying balance. Kong has done extensive freelancing and argued that it put her in a position where she could control her workload. However, as Kong pointed out, the Australian market only allows for a small number of successful, senior freelancers at any one time. Successful freelancers must have extensive industry experience and a proven aptitude for the work. So it is unlikely to be a viable option for most working mothers, particularly young working mothers who do not have the requisite experience.

Indeed, those participants who have come closest to senior part-time work were in senior roles before having children. For example, Jackie Yowell, who had a child when she was working at Penguin in the 1980s, described delaying having children because of the pressure and time-commitment of her career: ‘I didn’t have a baby until I was 37 partly because I couldn’t see how I could fit it in, really.’ Yowell was able to negotiate her career as a working mother in light of her previous success, which essentially became a bargaining chip; Penguin held her job when she took leave after her child’s birth and, when she returned, ‘grudgingly accepted’ that she would cut back to four days weeks. However, Yowell still found re-entering the workforce difficult. At the time, she was afforded less flexibility (to work non-traditional hours or from home) than many mothers are today.5 She struggled being away from her child and, at one point, approached the managing director at Penguin about setting up an in-house crèche modelled on one established by McPhee Gribble (‘They got the staff they needed to run it and they had their babies at work with them. It was wonderful for them,’ she said of the McPhee Gribble crèche). Management at Penguin opposed the idea.

This has not changed since; the only participant who mentioned bringing her children into the workplace was Zoe Dattner, who co-runs Sleepers Publishing with Louise Swinn. Like freelancers, mothers running their own business, such as Dattner and Swinn, are in the fairly unique position to approach motherhood and work on their own terms. For Dattner, this translates to bringing her children into the workplace as well as ‘a restructuring of home and working roles between my partner and I’ (Interview). Swinn, who recently had her second child, was, at the time of our interview, working most of her hours from home. She said, ‘It involves a lot of evening work and working during nap-time, catching an hour here and an hour there, and weekend work at the moment.’

Prior to starting Sleepers, Dattner worked at a large educational publisher and recalled feeling anxious when her co-workers left to have children and, most often, did not return to the workplace. She blamed this on regimented office culture that allowed working mothers little flexibility: ‘I thought, when the time comes, what are my options?’ In an article she wrote for Bookseller+Publisher, Dattner noted that old office culture lingers in many of the industry’s workplaces, limiting its working mothers (and indeed, its working fathers) (‘Open Letter’ 17). Elaborating in our interview, she said, ‘Part-time hours are perceived as your capacity to work somehow being less.’ She rejected this notion, and argued that it translates to an industry that ‘underutilises really, really, really smart people’ and particularly women. Contrary to the notion that the work-family clash is unresolvable, Dattner argues that the industry could become more flexible towards its working mothers by allowing them to work from home and within less-structured time frames.

Dattner has also argued against the corporate mindset that the work sphere and the home sphere should not overlap. She wrote an article for Overland in 2013 in response to Tony Abbott’s proposed maternity leave amendments. Dattner argued:

Then there is the other popular assumption about motherhood that I found difficult to digest: that this was some natural extension of womanhood (whatever that is), and something I should revel in, unaccompanied, and self-contained.

All of these things can be emphatically true for some women and I don’t mean to imply for a second that they are invalid or wrong. But they were not true for me, and I believe that if I didn’t have a working environment to be in in those first twelve months (and beyond) I would not have coped with the immense identity crisis that can occur when motherhood begins. (‘Paid Maternity’)

As Dattner acknowledges, this is a reflection of her personal needs; many women do desire time away from the workplace after their children are born. But Dattner’s argument does highlight that women have individual maternal needs; true flexibility must attempt to accommodate women as individuals.

Swinn argued that the wider industry needs to shift towards ‘a more family-friendly attitude towards things like properly paid maternity leave and paternity leave and family obligation time’. However, as publishing is not a high-profit industry, its workplaces often have limited resources to assist working mothers. Many of the participants pointed this out. Most publishers, particularly small publishers, may not be able to afford to subsidise childcare services (internally or externally) or pay maternity or paternity leave beyond what is legally required of them. This, undoubtedly, adds to the strain of its working mothers.

Sophy Williams was another who has had some success balancing her work and home spheres. Again, this is largely because she already held her position as CEO at Black Inc. when she had her first child. She described renegotiating the structure of her role in the lead up to having her first child:

I had to set a precedent when I had my own family. I had to think about the rights and privileges I was giving myself and I had to make sure they extended to my staff. Since I was the first person to go and have a couple of kids while I was still working, I thought very long and hard about what the company should accommodate.

It is perhaps significant to point out that both Sleepers and Black Inc. are independent publishers and—as was apparent from the interviews with Williams, Swinn and Dattner—reasonably egalitarian companies. For example, this was evidenced in Williams’s belief that individual workplaces have an implicit role to play in shifting wider cultural perceptions of motherhood:

It’s not a question of her always being the one to stay at home. He has to have some responsibility … these are things we think about and are very important and serious for us. (Interview)

The quantitative and qualitative findings suggest that the independent publishing scene allows its working mothers greater flexibility than the larger commercial houses. Many of the participants made arguments along these lines.

However, career-ambitious women who have children before breaking into the industry’s senior ranks do seem to have limited options: work full-time from the office and limit their time with their children; work part-time and expect their careers to lull; or stop work and hope the opportunity presents to re-enter if and when they choose.

The participants who were currently in senior management positions were conscious of assisting their company’s working mothers in what ways they could. Underscoring this was a preference for cohesive, communal working environments and ones that retained effective workers regardless of the realities of their home lives. Adler said: ‘If you want good people you have to accommodate their everyday lives, their needs for balance between professional and private lives and all that entails’. Along the same lines, Williams said: ‘You take on a whole person and we want to retain the people who are good.’

What Do Female Leaders Have in Common?

As touched on earlier, most of the participants found their success in the independent publishing scene. It is clear that smaller, less structured working environments offer women greater opportunity for success. Additionally, women—such as Swinn, Dattner and Susan Hawthorne—are forging their own success running their own independent publishing ventures; my quantitative research demonstrates that women run 61% of Australia’s small independent publishing houses.

The participants were also characterised by their reluctance to persist in working environments that were unsatisfying or ill-fitting. Hawthorne is an interesting example of this. Her career began at the feminist children’s book publishing collective, Sugar and Snails,6 where the working culture was one common to a small, grassroots company: run collectively, and encouraging of both diversity and equality amongst its collective members. In the 1980s, Hawthorne worked at Penguin where she developed and expanded Penguin’s feminist list including Dale Spender’s Penguin Australia Women’s Library.7 Although Hawthorne praised Penguin as, at its best, ‘a place of high-volt intellectualism’, she also described disparity between the male and female workers:

[T]hough I don’t know the figures, I’m aware that the women working at Penguin were not paid as much as the men even if they were in comparable positions … It was absolutely spectral that the men were at the top and that the women were doing a lot of the work in mostly editorial, sales and publishing … there were a whole lot of things at play … very little of it was overt but it was definitely systemic and difficult to pinpoint.

Hawthorne left Penguin to start her own feminist publishing venture, Spinifex Press, in the early 1990s.8 At Spinifex, Hawthorne has consciously shifted back towards a more equal working philosophy. She and her business partner, Renate Klein, are the highest decision-makers within the company, but they make a concerted effort to listen to their staff’s ideas. Hawthorne said that the company has a ‘fairly flat structure’ and one where ‘the conversations we have are important’.

There was some parallel between Hawthorne’s and Yowell’s experiences. Both took leave from Penguin—Hawthorne to travel and Yowell to have her first child—and both perceived, upon their return to Penguin, that the culture had shifted in a direction that no longer suited them. Like Hawthorne, Yowell also left around this time and also spent a few years running her own small press before selling her list to Allen & Unwin and working for them. Although Allen & Unwin is a large publisher, Yowell saw the difference its independence had on its modes of operating. She said, ‘[It] wasn’t subject to the control of an international parent company. I think that made it much more frees-spirited in its whole management style.’

The interviews emphasised where the cultures of corporate and of independent publishing diverge: larger, more traditional companies may have more clearly defined tiers of power and status, whereas smaller independent companies are more likely to veer away from traditional corporate culture and create their own culture rooted in the joint ethos of the workers (women and men). This fluidity that exists in small company culture partly explains why women experience greater success in small publishing ventures. Along these lines, Rutherford describes workplace culture as a ‘process’ that is driven and defined by the people within the workplace. She writes that traditional working cultures preserve hierarchies and boundaries by emphasising the perceived differences between male and female workers (18). Once gender perceptions themselves are challenged, so, too, are the foundations of the culture itself.

Most of the participants have been active in seeking or creating working environments where this breakdown of tradition has occurred or begun, and this has likely been key to their success. For example, Williams, Swinn and Dattner, like many university graduates entering the industry, began their careers at educational publishers, but their departures into the independent scene quickly followed. Williams explained the appeal of independent publishing: ‘From the beginning [at Black Inc.], I was almost able to structure my own role, which, after being in a more restrictive working environment, was great.’ Williams saw little opportunity for creativity at the educational publisher and also wanted a diverse, less structured role. She has found this at Black Inc. and described the company as having a ‘fairly unique municipal culture’, one where men and women are fairly evenly spread at all levels. For example, at the time of our interview, Black Inc. was advertising for a publicity assistant and Williams expressed disappointment that no male candidates have yet applied for what she considered a stereotypically feminine role. Williams’s description of Black Inc. aligns with theorist Catherine Hakim’s description of a ‘demasculinised and defeminised’ (74) workplace. Swinn said that, for her, being self-employed brings the freedom to create a working culture that reflects the shared values of Dattner and herself. She said that many of their business decisions have not necessarily been profitable, but have been true to the company’s cultural goals. This shift of focus away from profit margins and towards cultural goals characterises small publishing (Donoghue 2013).

A number of the participants also attributed their success to good fortune. But there is only partial truth to this. All the participants were personable and charming, which is a more likely explanation for their success. As Cosgrove told me, industry leaders need to have ‘great networks that one needs to maintain assiduously’. The participants were also intelligent, ambitious and determined. Williams said that ambition and confidence have been key to her success and credited her ‘strong feminist mother’ for fostering these qualities.

Adler acknowledged ‘a series of men who’ve tapped me on the shoulder and given me a chance’. She first moved into publishing because Sandy Grant (of Hardy Grant) thought she would have a talent for it. Men have since continued to facilitate her progression. On one hand, this demonstrates that the industry’s most powerful players are men. On the other, it underscores that they are not necessarily scouting for men like themselves to lead in the future. This signals a measure of openness that might be less common in other industries. Historically, one of the great challenges to female leadership is that male leaders tend to replace themselves with male leaders—a sort of brute reinforcement of stereotypes (Stoker et al.).

Most importantly, the participants saw their success in terms of career satisfaction; any power or status that has accompanied this has essentially been a by-product. These women are not unwilling leaders, but leadership itself was never the prize. This raises a key question: do women directly seek leadership positions? Or is this more likely a male tendency? It is true that some of the participants have sought their leadership roles. Swinn and Dattner both, for the most part, find great satisfaction in running Sleepers together.9 And all of the participants welcomed the greater creative freedom that comes with senior roles. But as touched on above, status and power did not seem to be important drivers for the participants. For example, Hawthorne said that her motivations in running Spinifex were ‘much more about frustration with the wider world of publishing … I wasn’t especially inspired to work for myself. In fact, I think it’s very hard.’ Yowell closed down the small publishing venture that she started after leaving Penguin because she did not enjoy the pressures of running a company.

It seems that female ambition is usually not directed towards power and status, although power and status can be its natural outcomes. This research did not investigate whether men in publishing are more focused on power and status than their female counterparts, though this is an interesting question to ask. Research has suggested that men are certainly more likely to pursue status and power roles; this may be rooted in cultural perceptions of masculinity (Heilman et al.). Indicating the possibility of this in publishing, Cosgrove noted:

[C]uriously, when I spent three months at Penguin USA, there were far more male editors working there [relative to Penguin Australia] … I think the role itself had a higher status there than it did in Australia.

The quantitative research demonstrates that, although women hold the majority of publishing leadership roles (something that is not typical of most other industries), men still have a disproportionately high share of leadership positions in trade publishing, a tendency that becomes more pronounced as the size of the publishing house increases. This essay opened by asking if publishing’s largely female workforce, its low pay rates and its tendency to embrace left-wing cultural and political values has produced a more equitable gender representation among senior management. While, in some ways, publishing has supported female leadership, it is clear that significant impediments still exist. Cultural stereotypes about women and their ability to lead have not necessarily inhibited the women in this study, which speaks for an industry open to the notion of strong female leadership. However, women’s leadership is disrupted by the industry’s lack of flexibility towards working mothers, particularly in large multinational companies. It is important for the industry to ask: how does a workplace best assist and enable its working mothers at a low cost? This question is a crucial one if trade publishing is to take full advantage of its leadership potential.

Works Cited

Adler, Louise. Personal interview. 2013.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. ‘Women in Leadership.’ Australian Social Trends.

December (2012): 11–16.

Colgan, Fiona, and Frances Tomlinson. ‘Women in Publishing: Jobs or Careers.’ Personnel Review 20.5 (1991): 16–26.

Cosgrove, Bryony. Personal interview. 2013.

Dattner, Zoe. ‘An Open Letter to the Australian Publishing and Bookselling Industry.’ Bookseller+Publisher 92.2 (2012): 17.

———. ‘Paid Maternity Leave: Time For a Rethink.’ Overland. O L Society Limited, 10 May 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.

———. Personal interview. 2013.

Eagly, Alice H., and Linda L. Carli. ‘Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership.’ Harvard Business Review 85.9 (2007): 62–71.

———, and S. J. Karau. ‘Role Congruity Theory of Prejudice Towards Female Leaders.’ Psychological Review 109.3 (2002): 573–98.

Elsesser, Kim M., and Janet Lever. ‘Does Gender Bias against Female Leaders Persist? Quantitative and Qualitative Data From a Large Scale Survey.’ Human Relations 64.12 (2011): 1555–78.

Hakim, Catherine. Key Issues in Women’s Work: Female Diversity and the Polarisation of Women’s Employment. 2nd ed. London: The GlassHouse Press, 2004.

Hart, Jim. ‘New Wave Seventies.’ Paper Empires: A History of the Book in Australia 1946–2005. Eds. Craig Munro and Robyn Sheahan-Bright. St Lucia: U of Queensland P, 2006: 53–57.

Hawthorne, Susan. Personal interview. 2013.

Heilman, Madeline E. ‘Sex Discrimination and the Affirmative Action Remedy: The Role of Sex Stereotypes.’ Journal of Business Ethics 16.9 (1997): 877–89.

Heilman, Madeline E., et al. ‘Intentionally Favoured, Unintentionally Harmed? Impact of Sex-Based Preferential Selection on Self-Perceptions and Self-Evaluations.’ Journal of Applied Psychology 72.1 (1987): 62–68.

Henry, Collette. ‘Women and the Creative Industries: Exploring the Popular Appeal.’ Creative Industries Journal 2.2 (2009): 143–60.

Howden, Felice. ‘Finding Feminism: A Woman in Publishing.’ BookMachine. BookMachine, 8 Jul. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.

Karelaia, Natalia, and Laura Guillén. ‘Me, a Woman and a Leader: Antecedents and Consequences of the Identity Conflict of Women Leaders.’ Faculty and Research Working Paper, INSEAD, 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.

Kaufman, Alicia E. Changing Female Identities, Decisions and Dilemmas in the Workplace. Trans. Don Topley. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Koenig, Anne M., et al. ‘Are Leader Stereotypes Masculine? A Meta-Analysis of Three Research Paradigms.’ Psychological Bulletin 137.4 (2011): 616–42.

Kong, Foong Ling. Personal interview. 2013.

Lee, Jenny, et al. The University of Melbourne Book Industry Study: Australian Book Publishers 2007/08. Melbourne: Thorpe-Bowker, 2009.

Rutherford, Sarah. Women’s Work, Men’s Cultures. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Ryan, Michelle K., and S. Alexander Haslam. ‘The Glass Cliff: Exploring the Dynamics Surrounding the Appointment of Women To Precarious Leadership Positions.’ Academy of Management Review 32.3 (2007): 549–72.

Stoker, Janka I., et al. ‘Factors Relating to Managerial Stereotypes: The Role of Gender of the Employee and the Manager and Management Gender Ration.’ Journal of Business and Psychology 27.1 (2012): 31–42.

Swinn, Louise. Personal interview. 2013.

Thomson, Liz. ‘Gail Rebuck and Victoria Barnsley: The Dethroned Queens of the Publishing Industry.’ New Statesman. Progressive Media International, 18 Jul. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.

Treasure, Anne. ‘What Has Happened to All the Powerful Women in Book Publishing?’ Momentum Books. Momentum, 13 Jul. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.

Williams, Sophy. Personal interview. 2013.

Yowell, Jackie. Personal interview. 2013.


1In 2007/2008 Lee et al. found that women made up 73% of the workforce of Australia’s 20 biggest publishing companies (38).

2The Australian Bureau of Statistics produced some stark evidence of this in 2012, showing, for example, that women account for just 3.5% of CEOs in the ASX 200.

3This data was collected before the Penguin Random House merge of 1 July 2013.

4In the interest of discretion the woman interviewed will not be named in this instance.

5This is reflective of technological advances, which have enabled women to work from home, as well as a possible cultural shift within in the industry.

6Sugar and Snails was one of over a dozen feminist presses found in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s on the back of second-wave feminism.

7Australian feminist scholar Dale Spender was the commissioning editor of Penguin Australia’s Women’s Library, a list of women’s writing and feminist texts published in the 1980s and very much catalysed by the spreading of second-wave feminism.

8This was a great risk because, by this time, many of Australia’s feminist presses had closed, no longer able make ends meet.

9It is worth noting that Swinn and Dattner are amongst the youngest of the participants; it is possible that the younger generation of women publishers are more confident in their ability to lead.

The Return of Print?: Contemporary Australian Publishing

   by Aaron Mannion and Emmett Stinson