The WILAA Survey
Our Survey of Australian Writers offers a chance to capture how writers feel about their careers, and what (if any) differences might be found by gender.
There is much discussion in our industry about the unique challenges women writers face. We often speak in anecdotal terms about gender discrimination, gendered approaches to pitching for work or sexism/harassment of women writers. What we hope to uncover was whether statistics reflected how many women in the industry felt impacted by issues such as these.
In our 2016 Survey there were 262 responses to the survey. This is a wonderful base to start what we intend to be an ongoing snapshot of the situation for women and non-binary writers in Australia. Due to the low number of men taking the survey, it is hard to extrapolate the differences in how men and women viewed the same topics or challenges, which we would like to resolve with a greater number of male respondents in future years.
We would like to address a concern that has been raised with us regarding the survey. Women of colour approached WILAA to express their concern that the survey was too general to encompass the unique challenges many in their community faced. They wanted to see a survey that reflected the particular challenges or issues women of colour and other marginalised groups face, which many white women do not. WILAA acknowledges that this was a flaw of the first survey. We apologise for not having addressed this in our first survey and endeavour to improve. and have redesigned future surveys to encourage responses that reflect more intersectional experiences including in areas of gender identity, sexuality, disability and race.