Here are some statistics to get you started as far as women's numbers in publishing with Pulitzer Prize statistics (not yet looking specifically at gender/race, gender/parent-status, gender/socioeconomics):
Baggott, J. (2009, December 30). The key to literary success? Be a man -- or
write like one. The Washington Post. Retrieved from
I could understand Publishers Weekly's phallocratic list if women were writing only a third of the books published or if women didn't float the industry as book buyers or if the list were an anomaly. In fact, Publishers Weekly is in sync with Pulitzer Prize statistics. In the past 30 years, only 11 prizes have gone to women. Amazon recently announced its 100 best books of 2009 -- in the top 10, there are two women. Top 20? Four. Poets & Writers shared a list of 50 of the most inspiring writers in the world this month; women made up only 36 percent.
Perugia Press has broken the listings down into percentages:
* Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: 68% male winners, 32% female winners
* Nobel Prize in Literature: 87% male winners, 13% female winners
* National Book Critics Circle Award: 62% male winners, 38% female winners
* PEN/Faulkner Award: 86% male winners, 14% female winners
* Booker Prize: 69% male winners, 31% female winners
Poetry Instigator adds some insight in interpreting these statistics:
So one way to interpret these stats is: women are simply not as good as men when it comes to writing. Or they are not as educated, etc etc etc. Another way to interpret these stats is: there is a significant disparity between the opportunities available for women than there are for men. Therefore, more spaces should be cleared to devote specifically for women and their writing.
Addition: VIDA (Women in Literary Arts) has compiled charts on the inequalities in review sources for Publisher's Weekly 2010 reviewed books.
**See comments for more sources and ideas!