Home 5 News 5 Penguin Random House UK pledges to make its leadership more diverse

Penguin Random House UK pledges to make its leadership more diverse

by | May 18, 2021 | News

As diversity and inclusivity continue to be high on publishers’ agendas, Penguin Random House UK has published its inaugural diversity and inclusion report ‘Books for everyone’.  It pledges to make the company more representative of the society in which it sits and in particular to make its leadership more diverse.

The company’s CEO Tom Weldon says:  “As a company, our success depends on our ability to connect stories and ideas with the widest possible readership, and is why the commercial case for diversity is clear. After all, diversity of perspective fuels creativity, the lifeblood of a publisher.

“But the need for change is more fundamental than this. Books create belonging. They help us see each other and understand one another. They shine a light on the world. Everyone should have the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the pages of the books they read. For too many people and for too many years the publishing industry has been out of reach.

“At Penguin Random House we haven’t always done enough to make the deep-rooted changes needed. Progress has not been fast enough or sufficiently wide-reaching. At the heart of this issue is the inequality that has existed in society itself for many generations. To be a truly diverse and inclusive publisher and employer we need to recognise and challenge these inequalities and the complex, difficult and systemic issues that have historically helped some while holding others back.

“Alongside driving change within our workplace, we also need to do what we can in the wider world to address inequalities that might be preventing some communities engaging with books and reading in the first place. The change will take time, but we can and must make sure that the legacy we create for the next generation of publishers is an industry that feels, looks, and sounds very different because it represents and reflects the rich diversity of the UK.”

It has announced a three-fold strategy.  Firstly, it wants to see representation in all teams at all levels: “Our ambition is for the entire company to represent the rich diversity of UK society, including at senior level.”  Secondly, it seeks a ‘culture where everyone can belong’: “A culture where everyone feels able to be themselves at work.  This does not mean conforming to any status quo, but ensuring everyone feels safe to voice their ideas and views – as well as feeling heard when they do, because others are willing to learn and listen.”

Thirdly, it talks about ‘publishing books for everyone, saying “Books are a portal to enter new worlds, to inhabit someone else’s shoes, to open one’s eyes to new perspectives. Everyone should be able to see themselves, and their communities authentically reflected in the books they read.”

The report reads: “Our data shows a stark lack of representation at manager level and above for ethnicity, lower socio-economic background and disability. This is difficult to address quickly as we have low turnover rates in more senior positions in our company. We have defined a new senior leadership goal and are overhauling our recruitment and career development practices to help achieve this goal.”

The company adds: “In support of the new 2026 senior leadership goal, a new mandatory recruitment and progression policy will be introduced, aiming to embed inclusive practices into day-to-day behaviour.  A dedicated role within the recruitment team to focus on senior hires has also been created. A senior editorial traineeship, open to candidates from under-represented backgrounds, will launch later this summer.”

 

Recent News

22Jul
Edinburgh Book Festival Reveals 2024 Industry Program

Edinburgh Book Festival Reveals 2024 Industry Program

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has announced its comprehensive industry program for 2024, spotlighting publishing in its new venue, the Edinburgh Futures Institute.   Commencing on August 14, the festival will kick off with Global Ink, a dedicated international industry day. This event will bring together professionals from Scotland, the UK, and beyond to explore […]

22Jul
“The Cleaner”: Debut Novel Gains International Interest”

“The Cleaner”: Debut Novel Gains International Interest”

There is much interest in a debut novel called The Cleaner by new British writer Mary Watson.  Penguin Random House (PRH) will publish in the UK under the Bantam imprint and PRH imprint Crown will publish in the US.  Rights have already sold to Italy.   In the UK Deputy publishing director Thorne Ryan acquired […]

21Jul
Amazon Literary Partnership Reveals 2024 Grant Recipients

Amazon Literary Partnership Reveals 2024 Grant Recipients

A raft of funding updates, from the Amazon Literary Partnership announcing its grant recipients for 2024, to the National Lottery Community Fund supporting almost 4,000 charities and community groups across England in the last four months. Also – grants available to transform community spaces from Asda Foundation. Africa Writes, Literature Works and Stories of Our […]

Related Posts

“The Cleaner”: Debut Novel Gains International Interest”

“The Cleaner”: Debut Novel Gains International Interest”

There is much interest in a debut novel called The Cleaner by new British writer Mary Watson.  Penguin Random House (PRH) will publish in the UK under the Bantam imprint and PRH imprint Crown will publish in the US.  Rights have already sold to Italy.   In the UK...

Amazon Literary Partnership Reveals 2024 Grant Recipients

Amazon Literary Partnership Reveals 2024 Grant Recipients

A raft of funding updates, from the Amazon Literary Partnership announcing its grant recipients for 2024, to the National Lottery Community Fund supporting almost 4,000 charities and community groups across England in the last four months. Also – grants available to...

Gen Z Brings New Life to Kafka on TikTok

Gen Z Brings New Life to Kafka on TikTok

On TikTok, classic authors like Franz Kafka are enjoying renewed popularity. On the social platform, Gen Z are reinterpreting The Metamorphosis and other works through creative videos, integrating pop culture references and personal experience. People might assume...

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this

Pin It on Pinterest