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Inclusivity Action Plan

Inclusivity Action Plan

The Publishers Association launched a 10 point industry-wide action plan to tackle inclusivity within the industry’s workforce to ensure publishers better reflect the UK population.  We are asking publishers to sign up to the action plan, as well as pledging to:

  1. Aim to employ at least 50% of women in both senior leadership positions and executive level roles
  2. Aim to ensure 15% of their employees are Black, Asian and ethnic minority people within the next five years

These targets were set following a survey of the industry by the PA, which found that women currently account for 49% of senior leadership roles but only made up 41% of executive board level. It also found that Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees currently make up 13% of the publishing workforce. 

The inclusivity action plan includes a commitment from the PA to undertake an industry-wide survey of the workforce of UK publishing houses, which will be published on an annual basis. 

"The publishing industry has started to work in earnest on reaching out to a wider pool of entrants, and promoting our talented people once they are in. Being more inclusive is socially and morally the right thing to do, as well as making good business sense. “However, whilst many individual publishers have made progress towards improving diversity within their own companies, tackling inclusivity is something which still needs to be addressed industry-wide. I am delighted therefore that PA members recognise the importance of this agenda, and have asked the PA to support our individual efforts with an action plan including an annual industry survey and published benchmarks.” I know the PA will do everything possible to support all its members in their efforts to respond to these issues. Publishing workforce data is a first step but there is a lot more that we should be doing and we’re hoping that the whole book industry joins in this endeavour.”

- Lis Tribe, President of the Publishers Association 

10-Point Inclusivity Action Plan

1. Develop an inclusivity policy, which is embedded throughout the organisation and which has strong leadership commitment

2. Undertake an internal workforce audit and providing the PA with the data on an annual basis so that industry-wide statistics can be published  

3. Ensure all staff involved with hiring attend unconscious bias training  

4. Nominate an inclusivity champion on your board or management committee who can monitor action on equality 

5. Provide opportunities for flexible or agile working 

6. Analyse job descriptions, recruitment strategies and interview practices for hidden biases 

7. Develop a mentoring scheme that supports new staff or those at transitional career stages who are from traditionally underrepresented groups  

8. Ensure there is a balanced speaker panel for any events you are running or speaking on 

9. Consider hiring a Publishing Assistant apprentice or a Creative Access Intern 

10. Become a publishing ambassador, as well as encouraging colleagues to give a careers talk to a local school or university 

The PA is supporting its members in meeting these targets by providing unconscious bias training, promoting best practice and recognising publishers who have demonstrated a commitment to increasing inclusivity through our support for conferences and awards. The PA is also finalising a new Apprenticeship Trailblazer Standard to expand the routes available into the industry. 

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2. Pledge your commitment to the plan:

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Sign up to the Inclusivity Action Plan