09 September 2014
The Bookseller - Sarah Shaffi
The Publishers Association (PA) and the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) will launch a revised charter, website and network for the Equality in Publishing (Equip) scheme next week, with the aim of attracting “the best people possible into our industry.
EQUIP, originally established by the Diversity in Publishing Network (Dipnet) in 2004 and promoting equality and diversity in the publishing industry, has been “dormant” for almost two years, said The PA, and needed a “fresh impetus”.
The charter says members, who can be publishers, agents or booksellers, will “engage and attract new talent by adopting inclusive recruitment policies, practices and traineeships, and where appropriate, engage in outreach work to increase the profile of publishing to traditionally underrepresented groups”.
As well as the renewed charter, which aims to “create a network of businesses with a commitment to equality and diversity in publishing”, and website, Equip is also staging a series of events over the coming months to discuss diversity in publishing.
Richard Mollet, chief executive of The PA, said: “The need to ensure an equal and diverse workforce is paramount for all publishers which is why The PA, along with IPG, is delighted to take over responsibility for Equip.
“Building awareness of publishing amongst ethnic minority groups is vitally important to ensure we attract the best people possible into our industry, increase access to job opportunities and drive forward changes in business practices.”
Bridget Shine, chief executive of the IPG, added: “Today, our industry demands a broader range of skillsets, making the need for diversity even more urgent. We actively encourage publishers and organisations to sign up to the Equip Charter and for individuals to show their support by joining Equip as members. We have much to gain by a united approach.”
The Equip network aims to provide support for people looking for jobs in publishing, promote publishing as a career, support members with information and advice, and host seminars and networking events.
Susie Winter, director of policy and communications at The PA, said: “While there is a growing commitment amongst publishers and the publishing community to make the industry more diverse, some have expressed uncertainty about how they can help deliver this, whether that is attracting people into jobs from diverse backgrounds or including diverse characters in books.”
Upcoming Equip events include a BIC New Trends seminar on Monday 8th September titled ‘Building a relevant book industry for the future: diversity, content and data’, and seminars at the Society of Young Publishers conference and the IPG conference.
Dipnet was established in 2004 in response to a survey by Arts Council England and The Bookseller. From 2006 – 2012 it was managed by Booktrust, before being taken on by City University London under the new name, Equip.
For the original click here.