SHOCKING Gender Pay Gap in UK Book Publishing Exposed

Four open books in the colored cover on the table made of boards.A stack of books in the colored covers on the table with a red tablecloth. Still life with books.

New Salary Survey Shows Industry Still Grappling with the Gender Pay Gap

Analysis of the 2017 Salary Survey reveals that that men are more likely to hold senior and higher paying management roles, with little progress made on reducing the gender pay gap.

In an industry where most of the employees are women by of (84.6% of respondents to the survey)*, it stands to reason that the book publishing industry should be leading the way when it comes to equal pay, but as the latest salary survey from shows, this isn’t the case. After the long-awaited gender pay gap reporting rules came in to force earlier this year, this survey is a timely reminder to the industry to address the fundamental issue of gender discrimination within businesses.

Average Salaries

The average starting salary of the 1,023 respondents has seen the biggest improvement over the past four years, growing 13.2% since 2013 to £20,470. Calculated on those who are 19-23 years old who have been in the industry for less than a year, this change feels positive, although the individual salaries for a few of the entry level roles have stagnated.

Suzanne Collier from says “I really feel that are due some credit for helping to push up the entry level salary; it still isn’t great but it is a huge increase compared to previous surveys. This is what salary transparency does; it helps publishers realise that things are not acceptable and then they can rectify the situation”.

But elsewhere, the victories feel hollower. The average overall salary was up 11.7% on 2013, reaching £32,228, but with 47.9% of males earning higher than the average compared to just 31.5% of women, the gender pay gap becomes more obvious.


90.4% of all respondents classed themselves as White, British compared to 2013 when 93.7% of all respondents classed themselves as White, British. In 2008, when first started collecting diversity data, the percentage of White British was 90.7%, so 2017 marginally affords the most diverse figure yet, but this is not to be celebrated and the hard work and campaigns by Equip and Creative Access must continue so that employees of publishers represent the way that society is today.

The Gender Pay Gap

The survey shows that the current pay gap is still at 15.7%, a minimal improvement on 2013 (16%). Suzanne Collier puts this down to seniority:

“The survey results indicate that the gender pay gap is occurring because of those who responded, many men tended to be employed in management or senior roles, and many women appear to be in lower roles, which are paying less. For an industry where over 80% of respondents are women, it is disappointing that a gender pay gap occurs at all.”