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Emerald commits to equal representation across its publishing practices

To mark International Women’s Day 2022, Emerald Publishing has announced its commitment to helping break gender bias in academia by committing to improving the representation of women across its publishing practices by 2030.

Emerald commits to equal representation across its publishing practices
Sally Wilson: “We have a responsibility to help make publishing more equally representative.”

The publisher says it is aiming to get to an equal representation of women across its publishing practices, including editorial boards, reviewer pools and lead authors on its books front list, starting with 40 titles that are facing representative challenges by 2025. With an ambition to extend this across everything by 2030.

The commitments follow a recent survey* from the publisher to gain an insight into the gender bias those working in academia are facing. The survey found that four times as many women than men think they have been discriminated against because of their gender and only 14% of female academics think publishers are doing enough to help female researchers publish and prevent bias.

Sally Wilson, Publishing Director at Emerald, commented: “Although we have taken steps over the past years to address gender equality, we know that we are not perfect and that we have a responsibility to help make publishing more equally representative.

“Historically, we’ve seen some social sciences journals be traditionally more male dominated, so we’ve made the decision to address the imbalance here first where we can. We’re starting with 40 titles, our goal is to get to equal representation across all of our publishing practices as fundamentally anything less, just isn’t a level playing field. While this is a priority for us a publisher, we know that the imbalance is in part representative of the wider scholarly landscape in certain subject disciplines and that we can’t address the imbalance alone. We will continue to work with our editors and reviewers to support them on tackling gender bias so that together we can continue towards more equitable publishing practices.”

The publisher recognises that the issues facing women in academia are often complex and has been taking steps to redress the balance by re-aligning female representation on editorial boards where there have been issues and by making female representation a priority on its books front list, as well as encouraging female representation in its cases collection through its Cases for Women competition, and providing resources, support and mentorship through its Engage networking platform.

Emerald Publishing has long been on a journey for gender equality, starting with achieving equal gender representation at senior management level and paying everyone the same for doing the same role. It also prioritised creating a culture of diversity and inclusion through training programmes and internal and external speaker events, says the company.

As well as making these commitments, Emerald has also curated a range of content from a podcast with career coach Jenny Garrett OBE and Vicky Williams, CEO at Emerald Group on navigating gender bias to free to access research around gender bias. It is through sharing these tools and resources, Emerald hopes to help women that may be facing gender bias in their career.

Click here to find out more about the commitments and access the free tools.

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