Last year, we took some proactive steps to improve our VIDA count, with an emphasis on growth, reflection, and contentious outreach. We went from a 2013 ratio of 29% female and 71% male to a 2014 ratio of 64% female and 36% male. This year, we’ve continued that momentum. After crunching the numbers, our 2015 count is 76% female and 24% male.
The full breakdown of our 2015 numbers shows 26 self-identified female authors and 8 self-identified male authors throughout the year (34 authors published in total during the calendar year). Of these 26 female authors, 7 were published in print and 19 were published online. Of these 8 male authors, 1 was published in print and 7 were published online.
As with last year’s initiatives, our 2015 numbers were not achieved by quotas — it happened organically as we continued to work on better outreach and marketing to marginalized writers.
When discussing this shift in our journal’s gender parity, it’s important to recognize the impact of behind-the-scenes stats. In 2013, our masthead included 3 self-identified female editors and 5 self-identified male editors for a ratio of 38% female editors and 62% male editors. In 2014, we had 6 female editors and 4 male editors for a ratio of 60% female editors and 40% male editors. In 2015, our staff featured 7 female editors and 4 male editors for a ratio of 64% female and 36% male.
We’re pleased with the strides The Conium Review has made to give a voice to marginalized women writers. This year’s official VIDA count also shows some improved gender ratios by powerhouses like Harper’s, Granta, and others (we’re a small press and not included in the official “count,” we tally our own numbers in-house).
For this year’s count, VIDA’s official count has also expanded their metrics. VIDA has tallied stats on race and ethnicity, sexual identity and orientation, and ability. These additions to the VIDA count are based on self-reportage and survey responses. As such, results aren’t as broad a cross-section as the “main count,” but there is enough data to be statistically significant. The results show a handful of publications with diverse bylines, though many major publishers have wide gaps when it comes to equal publication of women of color, LGBTQIA authors, and writers with disabilities. Find the full VIDA count here, and if you’re attending AWP conference, stop by the VIDA exhibit (booth #503).