Attendees at the 2019 PublisHer’s dinner in London. Image: Nabs Ahmedi

At a time when gender balance is a priority for many industries and companies, the publishing industry couldn’t lag behind. Bodour Al Qasimi, IPA’s Vice-President, and Maria Pallante, AAP’s President and CEO, embraced the challenge and launched a network to promote women’s role in shaping leadership in the publishing business.

The first PublisHer’s event took place on March 12, during the London Book Fair. The dinner gathered 30 women with the purpose of “celebrating women in publishing, inspiration and networking”. 

Bodour Al Qasimi reminded everyone about IPA’s engagement with diversity and inclusivity, and shared her intentions for the event: “The global publishing industry boasts a lot of brilliant, inspiring, and courageous women, but not enough of them are in the leadership level. This is a situation that many stakeholders in the industry are working hard to redress. Events such as the PublisHer’s dinner give aspiring women the opportunity to network, create momentum, and to push the needle toward a more inclusive and diverse representation at the top of publishing companies around the world.”

Maria Pallante highlighted that gender balance is a priority for the AAP and should be part of the international agenda: “I would like to share a quote from one of my heroes, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who sits on the Supreme Court of 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.”

The event marked the foundation of a community of women in publishing. We can expect exciting news and events in 2019, stay tuned. 

Read more about the event in the article written by Hannah Johnson for Publishing Perspectives.

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