Diversity and Inclusivity: Springer Nature Women’s Network. How To Get There.
Posted on June 28, 2021 in Diversity & Inclusivity
by Lucy Davies, Senior Journals Coordinator and Co-Chair of the Women’s Network at the time of writing (May 2021)
At a big scientific publishing company, most junior editorial roles oversee one part of the publishing process in detail, such as peer review and submission, author engagement or production. My role as a Senior Journals Operations Coordinator bucks this trend and spans a more generalist array of responsibilities. My typical day will include working on the digital set-up of new journals, troubleshooting internal queries from other journals staff, adding and editing website content and compiling data to measure the success of journals.
Alongside my job, as has been the case for a year and a half now, my day will inevitably include some work for the company’s Women’s Network. I relish the more creative opportunities that this brings into my working day and the relationships that I have built by being part of this extra team. I have a role in both the UK-specific Women’s Network and the wider global Women’s Network. As part of these roles I manage events, campaigns and communications and make sure they contribute to the Network’s goals and aspirations.
The aim of the Women’s Network is simple: to raise up women and achieve gender equality in the company. In practice, this means creating opportunities for women in the company for further learning and development, networking, mentoring and charity fundraising. These opportunities, catered towards our members’ needs, aim to empower and inspire women in the company and raise awareness for gender related struggles amongst co-workers of all genders.
The impact of our Network is global and I have seen first-hand the difference it can make to individuals’ working lives. At the inception of the Network, we started seeing women in the company brought together, talking with colleagues they had not met before about their experiences. We could see that attendees at our events left full of hope and confidence and some colleagues would come up to me in the office to tell me how useful or enjoyable they had found the event! This was a huge boost and all of us organisers felt they were really making a difference.
Nowadays we have an established resume of successful events and testimonies from employees who have benefitted from the Women’s Network. I personally have gained hard skills in event management, leadership, corporate communications and presenting, but also so much more confidence in myself and my abilities and an expanded knowledge of our business and community. My widened skill set has boltered my own resume and enabled me to pursue more career opportunities in my next move.
My advice for young people and graduates looking at entering the publishing industry would be first, to think carefully about what job role and which part of the publishing process you are most interested in. There is probably a more diverse variety of roles within a publishing company than you think. Aside from the typical positions, there are also exciting opportunities to get involved in publishing through positions in software, data analytics, project management, communications, marketing, UX design and more.
Like any industry, the smaller the company, the wider the breadth of experience you will gain in a junior role. At larger companies, you’ll probably acquire a more specific set of knowledge and experience. Although a foot in the door is important, try to find the role that fits your career aspirations – if you lean towards the creative, go into a marketing position, if you like data, go into a data analytics role. It can take a while to land your first role in publishing, but work out your priorities and don’t go for the first role and company which will take you on if the position and culture does not fit in with your goals, skills and interests. Have faith that from all the work you put into your education and the application process, you will land the right position in the end.
Second, once you start your first junior position in publishing, seize every opportunity which comes along and if they don’t, put yourself out there and find them. Any project or event you attend may lead you in new directions which could be extremely beneficial. Don’t be afraid to chat to colleagues and find out their experiences if you’re in the lunch queue, waiting outside a meeting room or loading the office dishwasher. When I got involved in the Women’s Network I did not expect it to become such a big part of my working life, and it has helped me to step outside my comfort zone and discover strengths I didn’t know I had.
Thank you so much to Lucy for this piece on her job roles and her experience in publishing. If you would like to find out more information about Springer Nature’s Women’s network, follow this link: https://group.springernature.com/gp/group/taking-responsibility/employee-networks#c17507308