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Survey of the Publishing Workforce

Survey of the Publishing Workforce

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Collectively the publishing industry recognises that it needs to do more to address diversity and inclusion.

In 2017, we launched an industry-wide 10-point action plan to tackle inclusivity and ensure that publishing better reflects the UK population. As part of this plan, the PA has committed to undertaking an annual industry-wide survey of the workforce demographics of UK publishing houses, in order to obtain a true reflection of the diversity within the industry.

Our initial survey found that women account for 49% of senior leadership roles but only represent 41% at executive board level. The results also revealed that Black, Asian and minority ethnic employees only make up 13% of the publishing workforce. We subsequently set two targets for the industry: to achieve at least 50% of women in both senior leadership positions and executive level roles; and an overall workforce that is at least 15% Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees.

Key findings of the 2018 survey include:

  • 54% of senior leadership and executive level roles were held by women (56% in senior leadership roles and 48% at executive level)
  • 11.6% of respondents identified as BAME
  • 8.2% of individuals identified as LGB, which is more than four times that of the estimated UK population (2%) and just over three times that of the estimated London population (2.7%)
  • 0.6% of respondents identified as transgender with a further 0.8% of respondents preferring another term. Combined, this is higher than the UK population forecast for individuals that are gender nonconforming (1.4% vs 1%)**
  • 5.4% of respondents identified as having a disability or impairment and 25.5% of those who stated their type of disability identified as having a mental health condition

The PA has engaged diversity and inclusion specialists, Equal Approach, to again deliver this 2019 project. Equal Approach is an established leader within the diversity and inclusion field and was selected from a shortlist of industry-leading organisations based on their experience and expertise.

Past surveys: