For me, one of the best things about Twitter is the instant access it affords you to a huge spectrum of people you might otherwise not come into contact with. I use it for my blog and thus follow a number of publishing companies, authors, literary agencies, publicists; indeed anyone related to the publishing industry. And yesterday morning I saw on Twitter that Suzanne Collier had tweeted about a talk she was hosting on Women in Publishing. Knowing little about either Suzanne, or the company Women In Publishing, and with no plans following work, I decided to hop on a bus to The Savoy Tup, a rustic little pub tucked away from the bustle of The Strand, where the talk was being held.
I have mentioned before my fear of attending such events on my own; something I put down to mild paranoia and am trying to get over. However, curiosity got the better of me, and I soon found myself in a room full of women eagerly awaiting Suzanne’s talk.
Founder of Book Careers, winner of the prestigious Pandora Prize and all-round publishing expert, Suzanne was incredibly inspiring; a trait that certainly came in useful when addressing a room full of women anticipating her pearls of wisdom. Much of the talk addressed issues that women come across in the work place, not limited to publishing but certainly relevant to the industry.
She recounted a number of stories from her lengthy career in publishing, which included experiencing sexism in the work place, being overlooked for promotion and having her opinions brushed aside. But far from being a talk in which men were slated, it was predominantly about instilling confidence in women, and encouraging them to achieve their goals and make the most of the career.
Following the talk there was the opportunity to ask Suzanne any questions the participants might have about any of the topics she had covered, and indeed any she hadn’t. Her answers were both friendly and informed, and Suzanne appeared to have a genuine passion for championing women’s rights, both in and outside of work.
Women, while the fairer sex, can often be the bitchier. Women in Publishing highlights that this doesn’t have to be the case; and that we should all be working together to be the very best that we can be.