Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. The Board receives regular updates on strategic initiatives across the Group with a view to ensuring that the strategies in place and in development are supportive of a culture that upholds Bloomsbury’s principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Diversity is not simply a matter of regulatory compliance, or even social justice. It is also a business-performance imperative. Attracting talented people from all backgrounds enriches our business and the lives of our employees. It drives productivity, creativity and innovation. As such, it is integral to the delivery of our strategy, as is creating an environment in which all Bloomsbury employees feel a sense of belonging. We believe that diversity and inclusion go hand in hand.

Since launching our Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (“DE&I”) Action Plan in May 2021, created in collaboration with staff, we have been driving tangible positive change across all areas of our business and contributing to wider industry discussions. We are determined to do the vital work needed to make publishing a more inclusive industry, both in terms of authors and employees. We know that diversity in our organisation leads to better culture and performance. A copy of the DE&I Action Plan can be found at https://www.bloomsbury.com/diversity-equity-inclusion.

We have a diverse workforce and management team led by a gender diverse Board. The majority of senior managers and employees worldwide in the Group are women. As at 28 February 2022, the number of employees by each gender is shown below.

In line with UK regulations, Bloomsbury has provided information on its Gender Pay Gap in the UK (see www.bloomsbury-ir.co.uk). We have benchmarked our Gender Pay Gap against the publishing industry and will continue to identify best practices to close the gap.

Currently in the UK, 13.4% of staff are from ethnic minority groups and in the US, the figure is 19.8%1.

One out of the seven Directors on Bloomsbury’s Plc Board is from a minority ethnic group, in line with the recommendations of the Parker Review.

During 2021/2022, the Company’s Global DE&I Steering Committee continued to support our DE&I Working Group and DE&I Project Managers, who foster a working environment that is welcoming and supportive of difference and individual well-being, while at the same time promoting an inclusive culture in which our workforce feels connected by a common purpose and shared values. The DE&I Working Group is supported by our Staff Networks.

  1. The UK figures have been taken from the results of the UK Publishers Association industry survey conducted in 2021, in which Bloomsbury employees were invited to participate. Participation in these surveys was voluntary; therefore, the figures may not have captured Bloomsbury’s full workforce.
  2. Includes the heads of publishing divisions, Group functions and country heads who are not Executive Directors on the parent Company Board.
  3. Excludes workers who are freelance consultants and temps.

Our Staff Networks complement the activities of the DE&I Working Group by providing valuable feedback and helping to set priorities for future action. They are the backbone of ensuring Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is woven into the workplace and that staff are represented at all levels. To date, 11 Networks and Employee Resource Groups have been established across our offices: Bloom, Pride (LGBTQ+); Mental Health and Well-being, Parents, Guardians and Carers and Disability in the UK, and BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Mental Health, Women at Bloomsbury, Assistants at Bloomsbury and Socioeconomic Status in the US.

Initiatives of the Staff Networks include:

  • The Bloom network celebrated Black History Month with a series of events and launched the Bloom Buddy Scheme to pair new starters with other ethnically diverse colleagues for guidance and support. They also continued their successful book club.
  • The Mental Health Network marked Mental Health Awareness Week with a series of events and recognised World Suicide Prevention Day and World Mental Health Day with seminars from our Employee Assistance Programme. Work began on a menopause policy and 15 staff members became Mental Health First Aiders.
  • Our Parents, Guardians & Carers Network launched a buddy scheme for parental leave returners and provided consultation on our flexible working and parental policies.
  • The LGBTQ+ Network worked on guidance on supporting transitioning in the workplace and celebrated Pride Month.

Actions we have taken to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within Bloomsbury include:

  • Our Diversity and Inclusion and Training Administration Manager was appointed in July 2021, to globally organise and guide our DE&I Working Group and Staff Networks, initiate and deliver DE&I projects, develop outreach partnerships within our community and to organise training, education and engagement programmes.
  • We deliver high-quality staff training, including Mental Health First Aid (15 Mental Health First Aiders trained across Bloomsbury UK), and pilots of Unconscious Bias and Allyship in the Workplace. This also includes supporting personal development and career progression, with a Management Development Programme, a Mentoring Scheme and Executive coaching provision. A formal Training and Development Programme for all employees, to cover core publishing skills, management skills, wellness, and diversity equity and inclusion, was launched in May 2022.
  • We are committed to nurturing new talent regardless of background: in 2021/2022, we welcomed 12 Apprentices to Bloomsbury in partnership with the LDN Apprenticeship Scheme which has been rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted.
  • We continue to partner with Creative Access – an organisation dedicated to recruiting under-represented talent into the creative industries.
  • Our Employee Assistance Programme supports employee well-being and mental health: during 2021, employees were offered two additional wellness days, core hours were extended to give staff better flexibility in managing work and personal/family responsibilities and Flexible Fridays were introduced to enable employees to finish work early on a Friday.

Partnerships

  • We are proactively forging partnerships with organisations that drive positive change, including the Black Writers Guild.
  • Looking beyond our own activities, we are involved in important discussions across the industry, with our Director of Academic and Professional Publishing, Pooja Aggarwal, speaking at the DESIBlitz Literature Festival on Women of Colour in Publishing and the CSE’s Virtual Fall Symposium on ensuring DE&I for the next generation in scholarly publishing. She is now an ambassador of DESIBlitz, further supporting their goal of promoting diverse voices in the literature space.

Our work during 2021/2022 to improve diversity and inclusion within Bloomsbury and the wider publishing industry has been recognised by two major industry awards. Bloomsbury was awarded the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2022 Inclusivity in Publishing Award, with judges praising the depth and scope of Bloomsbury’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Bloomsbury also won The Alison Morrison Diversity and Inclusivity Award at the 2022 Independent Publishing Awards, with the judges recognising Bloomsbury’s efforts to diversify across our lists, plus inhouse initiatives on allyship and mental health. The judges also praised Bloomsbury’s partnerships with organisations such as Creative Access and the Black Writers’ Guild.

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