Tuesday, November 17, 2009
A word about diversity on the planet of publishing: it is both diverse and not. Here at S&S, they have benefits for same-sex life-partners of employees. That seems like a good idea, because there are more gay men working in this industry than there are in some others. Although, like I said, I haven't met many men. I hate to spew stereotypes, good or bad, but this building has a healthy measure of witty, intelligent remarks floating around which makes every day here all the more fun. So, in this way, S&S is diverse and they really cater to the needs of a population of gay people who have some different needs than straight people might.There are very few black people here, and almost no black men. I mean, there aren’t that many men, let alone getting into white men and black men and Asian men. I read somewhere, I believe it was an e-book on the publishing industry, that when young, college-educated black people began to join the professional trades, a bzillion years ago, they sought jobs which would pay the most, the earliest, in order to support their families. Whereas, those whose families were already generations in to the publishing industry didn’t need to make immediate money (parents are good at funding the beginning of a career) and could wait until they advanced in their careers to make a very good salary, as is the case in publishing. Many were women whose spouses were able to support them through the statistically low salaries that come with lower jobs in publishing. I have seen exactly one black person. She was a woman, which makes sense because the ratio of women to men here is something like 60:30. There are also not that many Hispanic people here. I have met only two Hispanic people. Racially, this workplace would seem exclusive. As though non-whites were unwanted. Except for the fact that no one here seems racist. I believe racism usually stems from ignorance and I have met exactly zero ignorant people here. But, in a city like New York, it stands in stark contrast that a good percentage of the people working here are white. Yet, they have diversity day and all kinds of banners and fliers about diversity. I guess there aren’t that many black or Hispanic or Asian people who want to work in book publishing.Please understand, I’m not discussing this because race is of high importance to me. I’m just sort of examining this workplace because I imagine I’ll find myself working in this industry after college. I think it is important to consider all aspects of an industry before building your life around it. I would love to have a very straightforward answer as to why publishing is not as diverse as other industries, but I just don’t.