24th February 2021

Bonnier Books UK publishes inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

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Bonnier Books UK publishes inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

‘Bonnier Books UK today publishes its inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, with the aim of increasing representation across its workforce and publishing lists, along with an industry call to arms for collaboration and information sharing.’

Along with the results from the company’s first diversity and inclusion review conducted by The Audience Agency – comprising research into its workforce, publishing lists, recruitment pool and gender pay gap – the plan includes a comprehensive programme of tangible, concrete actions for positive change.

The company pledges “to maintain and accelerate its focus on evolving its business, operations and publishing list to ensure that its workforce and the books it publishes are better representative of UK society” (based on 2021 Census data). This includes Black, Asian and Multi-ethnic groups representing 20% of the company’s new recruits by 2026.

Progress will be measured and published annually, along with Action Plan updates, on its website.

As proud supporters of the BBC Creative Allies initiative, Bonnier Books UK will create positive change by using the RIVERS toolkit for inclusion. Spearheaded by the BBC’s Director of Creative Diversity , June Sarpong, the RIVERS toolkit provides a route for creative sector organisations to recruit, develop and retain diverse talent.

Actions outlined in the plan include the company taking positive action to overhaul its talent search and recruitment practices; expanding and accelerating its focus on outreach to encourage young people to consider a career in publishing; increasing salary levels for interns and introducing a new minimum salary for junior roles and flexible working for all, and allowing staff to work up to three days a week from home with the aim of reducing a London-centric emphasis.

Diversity and Inclusion Action Plans will be developed and implemented for each business area, with progress reported on at monthly management meetings; all colleagues will receive diversity and inclusion awareness training, with additional training on positive action for all hiring managers and effective allyship guidance will be included in new employee inductions.

“We don’t see the environment as a lever for competition. With much fantastic work already taking place across our industry, we hope that through sharing and collaboration, we will accelerate our collective progress. By publishing more ethically and sustainably, we hope that many future generations will also have the opportunity to enjoy stories that engage, inspire and educate.” Perminder Mann, CEO, Bonnier Books UK

Greg Evaristo, Non-Executive Board Member and Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Bonnier Books UK, said:

“Over the last few years, Perminder, Anna and the team at Bonnier Books UK have taken some great strides in fostering an inclusive, non-corporate culture, where people are encouraged to be themselves and talent can flourish. However, they’re deeply aware that there is so much work still to be done. This report is a real and significant commitment to positive change and I’m looking forward to working with everyone at the company to help deliver this ambitious action plan.”

Perminder Mann, CEO, Bonnier Books UK, also said:

“It’s also clear to me that change will not happen in isolation – we must come together as an industry to share our experiences and collaborate together. This is not a moment for competitive differences to stand in our way.”

Anna MacLaren May, People Director, Bonnier Books UK said:

“At Bonnier Books UK, we’re committed to building a modern, relevant publisher that is fit for the future. In order to do this, we must ensure that we recruit and retain talent from all backgrounds and foster a culture where everyone can thrive. We’re proud to be taking positive action as an employer and reaching out more pro-actively to people who might not have considered a career in the publishing industry.”

The report was launched internally at an event on 23rd February where Mann, Evaristo and MacLaren May were joined by guest speaker, June Sarpong.

Please click here to view the report.