In Publishers Weekly’s most recent salary and jobs survey, of the 664 people who responded, 119 (18%), including four men, said they have been sexually harassed. Of the 535 women who responded to the question, 115 (22%) said they had been harassed. More people of color experienced harassment than white employees: of the 91 respondents who are people of color, 21% reported being sexually harassed, compared to 17% of the 563 white respondents.
Though most men and women said their companies have sexual harassment policies, only 40% of women thought complaints were followed up on, while 67% of men believed complaints were looked into.
Most women who reported sexual harassment (55%) said that the incidents occurred in the office. Conventions and book fairs trailed the office as the second most frequent spot for harassment, followed by parties or other after-hours industry gatherings.
Sales and marketing was the department where harassment most often occurred, followed by management. Both of those departments have a greater percentage of men than editorial, where 13% of women said they were harassed. Publishers with revenues between $10 million and $100 million were the companies with the highest percentage or harassment complaints.
The results of the survey came the same week another media mogul, Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, faced charges of sexual harassment. Moonves told the New Yorker that, though he may have acted inappropriately at times, “I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”
A number of CBS women executives threw their support to Moonves, including Carolyn Reidy, CEO of Simon Schuster, a CBS subsidiary. Reidy’s statement gave her full support to Moonves: “I have directly reported to Leslie Moonves for nearly 12 years, and during all that time I have been heartened and deeply impressed by the way in which women have been promoted and championed under his leadership at CBS, treated as equals, and rewarded for their accomplishments and talent. He has always been supportive, straightforward, and helpful to me and Simon Schuster. While it is not my desire or intent to question the accounts of the women in the New Yorker article, I can without hesitation state that the Leslie Moonves described therein is not recognizable as the man with whom I have been personally and professionally privileged to work.”
Moonves continues to run CBS, although the company board has appointed lawyers from the Covington Burling and Debevoise Plimpton firms to investigate the allegations.
Sexual Harassment in Publishing
Does your company have a formal sexual harassment policy?Total Male Female Yes 77% 78% 77% No 10% 14% 9% Don’t know 12% 6% 14% Prefer not to answer 1% 2% 0%
To the best of your knowledge, are complaints followed up on?Total Male Female Yes 45% 67% 40% No 4% 3% 4% Don’t know 50% 29% 55% Prefer not to answer 1% 1% 1%
Have you ever personally been sexually harassed in the context of your job in the book industry?Total Male Female Yes 18% 3% 22% No 80% 97% 77% Don’t know 2% 0% 2% Prefer not to answer 0% 0% 0%
If yes, where did this harassment take place ?Total Male Female In the office 56% 75% 56% At a convention or book fair 34% 50% 34% At a party or other after-hour industry event 32% 25% 32% At an out-of-office meeting 14% 0% 15% At a sales conference 13% 25% 12% On a book tour 4% 0% 4% Other 6% 0% 6%