Inclusion & Representation Network Chair

Audience development lead Blanche Carballo is stepping up to chair Bonnier Books UK’s Inclusion and Representation Network this autumn. Here she outlines her ambitions for the network, and the ways in which our people can get involved.

Congratulations on your appointment. Can you tell us about what the role means to you, and the approach you’ll be taking as chair this year?

My main goals will be to ensure the network aligns with the business and that we recruit more members across all levels of seniority. My mission will be to create a sense of togetherness internally which we can then radiate outwards. I’m very excited to get started!

What is the purpose of the network?

Put simply I believe its purpose is to eradicate the idea of the ‘other’. Throughout human history the ‘other’ or ‘otherness’ has bred fear and misunderstanding, and I believe it’s the duty of our network to provide safe spaces for conversation and to ask questions, debunk myths and celebrate otherness. I want to create allyship and empowerment amongst our members and the company, and of course we also want to hit our business goals and I&R targets.

How will the I&R Network work alongside the rest of the business?

We’ll be creating breakout groups within the network, each focused on a specific target set out in our action plan. Each breakout group will focus on a given area to come up ideas, which will be fed back to the senior leadership team to help move the dial. We want to become more active and visible within company, and hopefully everyone will see the value of the network and want to be a part of it.

What are your focus areas for the coming twelve months?

I’ve introduced a new mission statement to help guide our activity and we’re now organising the different breakout groups and getting to work. I still want to incorporate a sense of fun – and we’ll be celebrating the key events in the calendar, setting up ‘Every perspective matters’ talks, and introducing a newsletter to be shared across the business and space on the website for us to showcase our successes, failures, fun facts, etc. to celebrate the Network and our value. So, lots of exciting things to come!