Diversity survey of the publishing workforce 2019

The 2019 survey, the third of its kind, is based on data from over 57 publishing companies of varying sizes across academic, education and consumer publishing. Data from a total of 12,702 employees was collected, an increase in survey size of 97.5% from 2018.

The first survey results in 2017 were used as the basis for the Publishers Association’s 10-point Inclusivity Action Plan and two related five-year targets – aiming for at least 50% of leadership positions and executive-level roles to be occupied by women and 15% of publishing employees to be BAME by 2022.

Key findings include:

  • 55% of senior leadership and executive-level roles were held by women (55% in senior leadership roles and 53% at executive-level).
  • 13.0% of respondents identified as BAME, which is higher than last year (11.6%) but has not yet reached the 15% target.
  • 10.3% of respondents identified as LGB+, significantly more than the UK population (2.0%).
  • 6.6% of respondents identified as having a disability or impairment, with the majority of respondents (75.7%) either being open (33.7%) or partially open (42.0%) about it at work.
  • 1 in 4 respondents (25.5%) has caring responsibilities.
  • More than a quarter of respondents grew up in the South East of England (26.1%), with a further 13.9% growing up in the East of England, and 11.2% growing up in London. The North East of England had the lowest representation of all the English regions, with just 1.2% of respondents.
  • 18.8% of respondents attended an independent or fee-paying school, which is almost three times higher than the UK average.
  • There is a lack of representation (0.0% – 1 respondent) of those aged under 18 and low representation of those aged over 55 (8.1%), considering that by 2020, one-third of the workforce will be over 50.