The latest survey from the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) has already painted its depressing conclusions about the overall state of UK authors’ incomes in 2014, but there is one slightly more positive result from its poll of some 2,454 writers – the apparent closing of the gender gap in writer renumeration over the period of the survey. The situation is, sadly, still worse than in the broader working environment in the UK for professional authors, but it has improved substantially.
“In the 2006 Study there was found to be a significant gender gap in the earnings of professional authors,” says the ALCS report. “In the last decade this gap has closed (and based on median earnings, closed significantly). This gap is much greater than in the population as a whole (where women earn 91.5% of male earnings). This discouraging finding is balanced slightly when the figures for all writers are included, showing that the gender gap is much smaller than the national average, with typical ‘median’ earnings of women being significantly higher than those of men.”
As the figures above show, female professional authors are now far closer than they were eight years previously to the income norms of their male peers. However, for those female writers who are not full-time professional authors, the situation is now markedly better, with their median earnings typically over 136 percent of those of comparable male writers. That at least is one ray of light in the generally bleak picture that the ALCS report paints.