Inspired Search release new white paper: Women in leadership: How to engender an inclusive leadership culture
Inspired Search is our Executive Search division and has just published a white paper which examines the topic of women in leadership within UK publishing. Looking away from what women, or men, should be doing differently, this gives a perspective on the traditional systemic barriers to gender equity in leadership and what we, as publishing employers, can be (and many are) doing in order to cultivate cultures which naturally break down these barriers and rebuild, in their place, a more inclusive culture. It looks beyond the numbers and into the culture of inclusivity that will allow anyone of any gender to not only access but thrive in leadership roles if that is their ambition.
There are of course a wide range of diversity issues alive in the publishing industry including gender, race, socio-economic background and sexuality and we know that the intersectionality of these can compound one’s experience. However, the focus of this paper is women’s overall experience in regard to leadership roles within publishing and largely about women in relation to men.
We know that the UK publishing industry enjoys the presence of some fantastic male and female leaders in both senior leadership teams (SLT) and executive positions. Indeed, the recent 2022 data released from the Publishers Association (PA) UK Workforce: Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Survey shows us that the proportion of executive leadership and senior management positions is improving. However, we can see that the proportions of women at that level isn’t necessarily reflective of the wider publishing workforce. In other words, there is what we might describe as a leaky talent pipeline.
This paper is here to reflect on some of the factors that have contributed to the ‘talent leak’ to date, and also what seems to be contributing to its improvement. It also pushes beyond access to leadership for women and into the inclusive cultures that will enable them to thrive with a sense of belonging. Ultimately, it gives insight to what we can be doing to continue the trend towards gender equity, not just gender equality, alive.
If you would like to request a free copy of the paper, please contact our Search Director Abigail Barclay: