September 15, 2015

WHO KNEW THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY WAS SUCH A FEVER SWAMP HOTBED OF RACISM, SEXISM, AND HOMOPHOBIA? An Insta-reader forwards this Publisher’s Weekly-distributed survey, which was sent via the following email:

Dear *****
As part of our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive work force, Publishers Weekly will be participating in the industry-wide Diversity Baseline Survey. This survey will examine several facets of staff diversity within the publishing industry including race, gender, sexual orientation, and disabilities. We hope this survey will give the publishing industry a better understanding of staff makeup and help all of us focus and improve our efforts to increase diversity. Adding more diversity to publishing’s ranks is a goal PW fully supports. To help move the process forward I hope you can spend a few minutes to take part in the following survey.

The link below will take you to a short 5-minute survey. This survey is being administered by Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen at St. Catherine University in Minnesota, and your individual answers to this survey will remain completely anonymous. Only the researchers handling this study at St. Catherine University will have access to full survey responses. Publisher’s Weekly will see their own numbers, but only in aggregate.

Please fill out the survey by September 30, 2015.

The survey is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7QY2K6T

The survey itself begins by claiming:

Publishing suffers from a major diversity problem. It is obvious that the vast majority of books published are by white authors and about white characters. The majority of the staff behind the scenes, which includes publishers’ employees, and reviewers, are white. For decades there has been overwhelming agreement in the industry that there should be more diversity at all levels and in all areas of the book world, but even with greater awareness, the problem never seems to go away. Is this problem too big to solve?The answer is, we have no idea how big the problem is. While there is now data available about diversity among books published, there is still no data available about diversity among publishing staff and reviewers.

As in any business, when you have a problem you must understand it before you can solve it. Our goal with the Diversity Baseline Survey is to establish a baseline that shows where we are now. To learn more go here.

A Word About Privacy: Your individual answers to this survey will remain completely anonymous. Only the researchers handling this study at St. Catherine University will have access to full survey responses. Publisher’s Weekly will see their own numbers, but only in aggregate.
If you have any other questions contact, Jason Low, [email protected] Otherwise, let us begin.

Things get even more…interesting...here:

publishers_weekly_survey_9-15-15-1

Gosh — who knew there were so many choices? Or perhaps, there aren’t enough! It’s all so highly, highly problematic.

By the way, does increasing diversity apply to all industries? Instead of reflexively recruiting giants, it’s high time that the NBA forward a team, or the NFL an offensive line, that consisted of men the size of Woody Allen, Paul Simon, Wallace Shawn, and Peter Dinklage. Perhaps throw in Linda Hunt as well, for extra-added diversity.

UPDATE: As another Insta-reader mentioned to me via Twitter, “‘Publishing suffers from a major diversity problem,’ and ‘we have no idea how big the problem is’ are contradictory statements–prima facie proof of expectation bias.”

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.