Working to build a global, supportive community of women in publishing, the first PublisHer dinner brought together some 30 women making a difference in the book business.

The global publishing industry boasts a lot of brilliant, inspiring, and courageous women, but not enough of them are in the leadership level, a situation many stakeholders are working hard to redress.”Bodour Al Qasimi

During book fairs like those in London and Frankfurt, plenty of networking and social dinners take place, but during this year’s London Book Fair, a different kind of gathering was organized by the Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, vice president of the International Publishers Association (IPA), and Maria A. Pallante, president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP): the first PublisHer’s dinner.

On March 12, some 30 women leaders in publishing gathered for the event in London for, as the invitation said, “celebrating women in publishing, inspiration, and networking.”

One outcome of the dinner was an affirmation that there’s a strong community of women influencing the future of book publishing, and bringing some of those women together made this community more tangible.

Another result: consensus that the book industry needs more women in leadership roles.

In her opening remarks to kick off the evening’s discussions, Pallante said, “I would like to share a quote from one of my heroes, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who sits on the Supreme Court in the United States. ‘Women belong in all places where decisions are being made … It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.’

“Well, tonight in this room we are not the exception, and I hope that you will all take a moment to enjoy this fact because—as we all know—women’s voices are important to all parts of the publishing business and we need to support one another.”

Source: Publishing Perspectives