"Every reviewer can check their personal choices of books, to make sure there’s balance. Each reviews editor can do the same; monthly, quarterly, annually. If balance is lacking, we can ask why without necessarily accusing anyone of sexism."
I couldn't agree more. A month or two ago I started tracking the gender balance of books we were receiving - if it's working there should be a pie chart here to show where we currently stand:
At the time of writing (9 September 2011) the figure stands at 20.5%, so in theory at least 20.5% of my reviews would be of books by female writers and editors. I want to do a bit better than that, not least, as I've mentioned previously, because I'm unhappy with how few female writers have been appearing in the pages of our magazine.
So far the Even Stephens approach I've adopted - alternating my reviews between books by men, books by women (excluding comics for now) - seems to be working well. Apart from anything else, it makes choosing my next book that little bit easier.
It's interesting to note how it works against publishers who haven't published any books by women at all, and there are a few out there (for example...) - they're not in the running for half of my review slots.