Inclusion and representation

As we plot a path to a fairer future, inclusion and representation must lie at the heart of all we do

We strive to publish for everyone, and to succeed in this we know that inclusion and representation must lie at the heart of everything we do. We’ve embarked on an extensive course of action as we work to broaden perspectives, open doors, and plan a path to a fairer future.

“What has become clear to us is that achieving diversity is not enough: the publishing industry should instead be aiming for a position where it honestly and authentically represents the broadest possible range of people and lived experience.”

Perminder Mann

Putting words into action

In 2022 we published our second Bonnier Books UK Inclusion & Representation Action Plan with the aim of increasing representation across our workforce and publishing lists. We commissioned a third-party research agency to undertake a thorough review of our publishing lists and workforce and, based on those results, we put together a comprehensive programme of tangible, concrete actions for positive change.
Ambitious in scope although not exhaustive, our action plan identifies various ways we could drive progress across the company: from introducing equal parental leave to offering practical for aspiring female novelists through the Women’s Prize for Fiction’s Discovery Programme.
Achieving true representation is an ambitious task that will take time, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to be complacent – we will continue to measure our progress, so that we can learn from both our successes and our failures.

At-a-glance action plan for publishing lists

Recent achievements:What’s next:
Editorial inclusion training for all editorial staffOffer practical support and encouragement to aspiring female novelists of all ages and backgrounds, from across the UK and Ireland as Royal Circle Patrons of the Women’s Prize for Fiction’s Discovery Programme
Launched a new business and smart-thinking imprint, Heligo PressCreate and share content to help demystify the publishing industry for new writers and illustrators
Partnered with pioneering new start-up Footnote PressWilbur Smith Unpublished prize to be relaunched with a focus on discovering new voices
Acquired Scottish independent publisher, Black & White Publishing, broadening our geographical reachBroaden mentoring opportunities with Arts Emergency to include aspiring authors
Announced the launch of a new Irish imprint based in DublinInclusion training for all sales, marketing and publicity teams

At-a-glance action plan for workforce and candidate pool

Recent achievements:What’s next:
Introduced enhanced paternity leave policy for fathersEqual family leave policy for all new parents, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or how they became parents. Bonnier Books UK will now offer six months’ fully paid paternity leave
Increased salary levels for interns and increased minimum salaries for junior rolesPartner with schools to launch a work experience programme to support 16-18 years of students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds
Launched @Inside_BBUK Instagram channel to help demystify the publishingLaunch annual sponsorship of a paid work experience programme, in partnership with BTSB, following the success of the Opening Doors partnership with OWN IT! and Reggie Nelson
Launched Opening Doors, a pioneering paid work experience opportunity in partnership with OWN IT! and Reggie NelsonContinue to evolve our internship programme in partnership with Creative Access
Equality awareness training for all, including additional training for hiring managersBroaden inclusion and equality awareness training for all to promote inclusion and belonging
Commissioned Submit to Love Studios to recreate a selection of the most iconic covers from across our lists, to reflect how important equality and belonging are at Bonnier Books UK. All six designs were sold as limited-edition prints with 100% of the proceeds going to Headway East LondonBuild on our recruitment strategies and policy: broaden knowledge of recruitment tools for inclusive language; continue to use positive action to address underrepresentation
Continued support of Words for Work, the National Literacy Trust’s flagship literacy and employability programmeContinue to broaden access and demystify publishing for candidates with the relaunch of the new Bonnier Books UK website careers pages, including promoting awareness of benefits and staff networks to encourage under-represented candidates

Introduced an industry-leading policy to support employees through all types of pregnancy loss and formed a partnership with Tommy’s to provide parenting and pregnancy support and training for all staff. Recognised as Tommy’s Pregnancy and Parenting at Work Champion

Continue to expand our use of inclusive job boards

Launch an interview shadowing programme to enable everyone the opportunity to develop interviewing skills and provide candidates with a broader and more insightful interview experience

I&R network

Our dedicated I&R network’s purpose is to support BBUK in achieving the goals and objectives for inclusion and representation outlined in the action plan. As allies, its members amplify the voices of unrepresented groups and support the company to influence change and enable progress. Its programme of events and initiatives – from platforming fascinating guest speakers to marking cultural celebrations – aims to widen perspectives, encourage open conversations and bridge the gaps in understanding.

Keep an eye on the latest from the network on Inside BBUK.

Charity partners

We’re proud to support a number of charities aligned to our values through book gifting, financial donations, and volunteering efforts. Find out more about our charity partners and our work together here. 

Inclusivity Statement

At Bonnier Books UK, we believe that every book matters. As the only major publisher with a strong presence in mass-market and trade, we are unique in publishing for everyone. To make this a reality, we need a workforce that reflects the diversity of our audience.

We are committed to building an inclusive working environment, where individuality is celebrated. Every one of us is unique and we take pride in that. It is important to us that we continue to build a culture where everybody has a voice so that different perspectives can flourish. In early 2021, we pledged to accelerate the evolution of our business, operations and publishing lists to ensure that our workforce and the books we publish are better representatives of UK society. Read the latest report on our progress and the programme of tangible, concrete actions we’re delivering to achieve this positive change in our 2022 Inclusion and Representation Action Plan.

Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.

Meet the chair

An interview with I&R network chair, Blanche Carballo

How we built Heligo

Rik Ubhi talks about the birth of the list and publishing with purpose

Inclusive recruitment

Erika Van Aken shows how I&R is woven into every step of the recruitment process