In the annual Publisher’s Weekly salary report, it is easy to see when the Pink Rot solidified:
Meanwhile, the pay gap between men and women—the other well-known imbalance in the industry—continued in 2013, even though women accounted for 74% of the publishing workforce and men only 26%. The average compensation for men in 2013 was $85,000, the same as in 2012, while average compensation for women rose to $60,750 last year, up from $56,000 the year before. Women filled at least 70% of the jobs in sales and marketing, operations, and editorial, but only 51% of the management positions. The relatively large portion of men in management roles (though they’re still a slight minority there) partly explains the overall pay gap, since those jobs are the best paid in the industry. But men also tended to earn more than female colleagues with similar titles last year, due, in part, to the fact that men tend to have more experience. In 2013, the median number of years of experience for men in the industry was 17, compared to 11 for women (the median for men in management was 19 years, compared to 13.5 for women).
Look at the Years of Experience chart at the linked post. Whereas 37 percent of the men have more than 20 years of experience, only 21 percent of the women do. But sometime between 11 and 20 years ago, women first made up the majority of employees. That’s observably the point at which the pinkshirts took over; for me it first became apparent when THE QUANTUM ROSE, which is little more than a romance novel in space, won the Nebula and made me realize how much the SF/F field was changing, and not for the better.
The amazing thing is the way it is implied that a field in which there are three times as many women as men working is somehow stacked against women due to the “pay gap”. The amusing thing is how lily-white and non-diverse the field is; it is readily apparent that the reason the publishing industry so feverishly embraces diversity in their authors is as a shield to distract from their own lack of diversity in their offices.
Obviously the process began more than 15 years ago, but that’s when it became increasingly difficult for those writing masculine fiction for male audiences to break into print.