IOP Publishing supports Publishers Association Inclusivity Action Plan

Publishers Association's Inclusivity Action Plan
Credit: Publishers Association

We are proud to support the Publishers Association’s newest iteration of its ‘Inclusivity Action Plan’ to promote equality, diversity and inclusion within the industry’s workforce. Created alongside leading diversity and inclusion social enterprise Creative Access, the plan sets out ten commitments for publishing businesses to undertake over the period 2023 to 2026. The pledges outlined in the plan aim to promote equality of opportunity, drive action, and empower individuals working within the UK’s world-class publishing industry.

The Inclusivity Action Plan has been created following focus groups with a range of employees from different firms across the publishing sector. Those involved in the sessions were asked to discuss some of the most pressing issues the industry is facing when it comes to diversity, equality and inclusion, as well as areas where they see room for improvement. These conversations informed the development of each pledge set out in the plan. These include:

  • Develop and embed an inclusivity policy which is set and driven by senior leadership.
  • Commit to data collection and support consistent cross-industry data collection.
  • Provide opportunities for flexible, hybrid, agile, and part-time working.
  • Work towards pay equity, including salary transparency.

Inclusivity Action Plan

As well as committing to the plan, publishers are being asked to work towards new targets for their UK workforce. These should reflect national demographics at all role levels, across the following characteristics: race and ethnicity, socioeconomic background, disability, gender, and sexual orientation. These targets will be measured at an industry level and reported every two years between 2023 and 2026.

A full list of the 21 founding signatories can be found below:

  • IOP Publishing
  • Taylor & Francis
  • DK
  • Pearson UK
  • Bonnier Books
  • SAGE Publishing
  • Oneworld Publications
  • Penguin Random House
  • Hachette UK
  • Bloomsbury
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Macmillan Learning
  • b small publishing Limited
  • Kogan Page Ltd
  • Princeton University Press (European office)
  • Profile Books
  • Saraband Limited
  • SRL Publishing
  • Everything With Words
  • Firefly Press Ltd

Dan Conway, CEO at the Publishers Association said: “Through the hard work of everyone in the publishing industry, we have made great progress in moving the dial when it comes diversity, inclusion and equality. Since the launch of our first plan in 2017, we have seen significant inroads across many characteristics- but there is no time for complacency.

We are proud to be launching our new Inclusivity Action Plan to bring our members and businesses across the industry together, to further break down barriers and to drive real, meaningful change. This is just a starting point and we look forward seeing further progress over the coming years. Real change is achieved when we work towards a common goal, and we are certainly stronger when we work together”.

Josie Dobrin, Executive Chair at Creative Access said: “The Publishers Association and the publishing industry is really blazing a trail for the whole creative industries with the launch of this new inclusivity plan. It is a great example of organisations in a sector, putting aside competition, to come together and drive real, meaningful change and we actively encourage other creative sectors to follow suit. We’ve been partnering with the Publishers Association now for over a decade and are immensely proud of our role in providing strategic consultancy on the development of this plan, it marks a significant step forward for the industry.”

The plan is being launched in tandem with the final UK Publishing Workforce: Diversity, inclusion and belonging in 2022 survey. The survey shows that whilst there has been an increase in the diversity of the workforce, there are still areas which need to be improved on. Some key findings include:

  • Females continue to dominate the workforce, accounting for two thirds of respondents (66%), with an increasing proportion of executive leadership and senior management positions being held by females (56% and 60% respectively).
  • Representation of people from ethnic minority groups (excluding White minorities) has increased to 17% from 15% in 2021.
  • LGBT+ representation has increased, with 15% (up from 13% in 2021) of respondents either identifying as lesbian, gay, or bi, or self-describing their sexual orientation, a figure which has grown each year since 2017 (5%) – and as in 2021, 1% of respondents identified as trans.
  • Socio-economic background continues to represent major barriers to inclusion, with two thirds (66%) of respondents being from professional backgrounds.

The Publishers Association will continue to support its members in meeting their DE&I goals. We encourage other publishers and industry stakeholders to support the initiative by signing here.

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