Behind the Scenes: Meet the Women of Harlequin
In honor of Women’s History Month, we are taking you behind the scenes so you can get not only get to know some of the amazing women who work at Harlequin, but also how we’ve changed over the years!
“The Books We Publish Make People Feel Good”: 35 years at Harlequin
by Dianne Moggy, VP, Editorial
I can’t quite believe it, but I’ve just celebrated my thirty-fifth work anniversary at Harlequin. I’d just graduated with a degree in journalism and a dream of one day reporting from Parliament Hill when I began doing freelance reads for the world’s largest romance publisher. That freelance work resulted in my first full-time job as an editorial assistant with Gold Eagle Books, Harlequin’s men’s action-adventure line. I remember telling friends at the time that I’d be here for five years and then try something else!
There are many reasons why five years have morphed into thirty-five, but at the heart of it all is the fact that the books we publish make people feel good. I believe that knowing we have a positive impact on our readers has helped define the company’s culture and has certainly contributed to my own job satisfaction. Our culture is also defined by the fact that our books are, by and large, written by women for women. Although it’s true there were far more men in senior positions when I joined the company, it’s also true that that the numbers shifted much more quickly at Harlequin than in the companies where my friends work. And regardless of gender, I believe my colleagues at Harlequin feel they’re part of a family. It explains the long years of tenure across most departments and it explains why over four hundred women (and a few lucky men) get out on the dance floor at the annual Harlequin party celebrating our authors when the DJ plays “We are Family.”
When I started at Harlequin, editorial assistants took dictation and typed memos on typewriters. And yes, most of us were women. But even then, the company believed in developing and supporting talent at every level, no matter your gender. I feel fortunate to work for a company that has fostered a safe, supportive and stimulating working environment for all employees. And I’m proud that the wonderful romances written by hundreds of authors each year make our readers around the world feel good!
What It’s Like Working for Harlequin
Working at Harlequin means that I get to make books with a community of like-minded women every day. This makes for a fun adventure and I am always inspired by the successful and passionate women that Harlequin employs in every department. Coming from a male-dominated industry I can say that the difference is significant. Harlequin is collaborative and supportive, I always feel like we’re playing on the same team. The best part about working for Harlequin is our brand. We promise our readers great stories that will make them laugh, cry, jump for joy and believe in love – I don’t think we would be able to stay so committed to that promise without employing and publishing so many awesome women.
-Anna Sullivan, Marketing Coordinator
A big part of my job is understanding what female readers are looking for from the books we produce, which is usually a ‘happily ever after’ in some form or another. Women around the world are dealing with all kinds of complications in their lives – providing support for family members in need, dealing with loss, battling health issues, career challenges, and countless other anxieties and frustrations – and I’m so happy I have the chance to work on products that provide moments of pleasure and peace amidst all the chaos. I feel very lucky to work at a company that celebrates female voices, and to spend so much of my day talking to and about strong women –the fictional characters on our covers, the female readers, and my colleagues, who are elevating women’s stories and experiences to promote a culture that celebrates the power of ‘feel good’ content. It’s a wonderful thing to be surrounded by people who inspire you at work every day.
-Lauren Nisbet, Assistant Product Manager
Often I do think how lucky I am to work in a place which has such a high number of female role models – every day I’m surrounded by amazing women doing amazing things, from the sheer creative brain power of the Harlequin series authors I edit, to my brilliant colleagues who I’m constantly learning from. That’s very empowering! The high level of enthusiasm for sweet treats and cups of tea is pretty inspiring too! We always talk about welcoming new authors into the ‘Harlequin family’, and there’s no better way to describe it. Is it a coincidence that we’re a team of mostly women, who work to provide books for women, written by women? Perhaps – but I’m inclined to think not!
-Nicola Caws, Associate Editor
Get to Know Our Authors
Do you know the stories behind some of your favorite romance authors? Explore the video playlist below to learn more.
Interested in more behind the scenes blog posts? Click here to learn more about the people who work here at Harlequin!