Our people

Bloomsbury is a people business, and the success of our business is in large part driven by the expertise, passion and commitment of our workforce. Our colleagues are a key asset of the business and our employment policies and practices are directed at creating a workplace that attracts, motivates, develops and retains high-calibre employees. Effective engagement with employees is an essential aspect of achieving this.

Bloomsbury has in place a wide range of effective mechanisms to engage with employees. A key element of our engagement strategy is our Employee Voice Meeting (“EVM”) programme. This programme allows employees to have their voices heard directly by senior management and by the Board. EVMs are held routinely throughout the year, with a selection of employees from different levels across the Group being invited to attend scheduled meetings by rotation. These meetings provide every employee of Bloomsbury with 
the opportunity to share their views on Bloomsbury’s strategy, communications, training, compensation and benefits, and other matters of concern or interest to them with Bloomsbury’s senior management and the Board. Meetings are chaired by members of the Executive Committee on rotation, and Non-Executive Directors are also invited to attend these meetings. Employees are encouraged to share their honest views on the understanding that the matters discussed will not be attributed to particular individuals in the reports, which are provided to the other members of the Executive Committee or the Board on the outcomes of the meetings. The Executive Committee and the Board are provided at each of their respective meetings with the minutes of EVMs on an anonymous basis together with a list of the key themes arising out of EVMs.

This form of engagement with employees across the Group enables senior management and the Directors of Bloomsbury to keep a  finger on the pulse of the organisation and to gain unfiltered feedback from employees on Bloomsbury’s strategy, communications, employee compensation and benefits, and approach to employee development, as well as employees’ views on the  senior leadership team overall. The Board and the Executive Committee discuss and approve new policies based on the outcome of these meetings.

EVMs also provide an effective means for the Board and senior management to monitor the Company’s culture in 
order to ensure that it aligns with the Company’s values and purpose, and continues to support the delivery of the Company’s strategy.

Other mechanisms, in addition to EVMs, through which Bloomsbury engages with employees including:

  • Town Halls;
  • Employee networks and focus groups;
  • Weekly newsletters to all employees globally;
  • The Company’s bi-annual Highlights meeting; and
  • Monthly divisional meetings.

Bloomsbury’s formal appraisal programme also provides the opportunity for colleagues to give and receive feedback on performance 
and discuss opportunities for career development.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the transition to working from home by Bloomsbury’s workforce globally, we have significantly increased the frequency of communications with employees with the objective of providing clear guidance on measures 
being taken by Bloomsbury in response to the pandemic, and to provide assistance, support and reassurance to employees in the face of the challenges posed by the crisis. This has included regular communications from the Chief Executive to all staff, including 
by way of online Town Halls, daily updates from Bloomsbury’s Health & Safety Committee, the establishment of numerous online social networks to enable colleagues to connect with one another during the period of lockdown and social distancing, and the provision of access to private medical consultations over the telephone.

Employment KPIs

The senior management team monitors staff-related KPIs (e.g. joiners and leavers) on an ongoing basis in order to assess the
effectiveness of the Group’s policies and practices in attracting and retaining talent.

Diversity

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 29 February 2020 the number of employees by each gender is:

 

 

All employees
Senior Managers
Directors

    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 that can reduce the pay gap.

    We recognise that attracting talented people from all walks of life enriches our business and performance and the lives of our employees. Diversity and inclusion is essential to our productivity, creativity and innovation, and to creating an environment in which our employees feel able to do their best work. A Diversity and Inclusion Working Group was established during 2019 with the aim of 
    fostering a working environment that is welcoming and supportive of differences and individual wellbeing, while at the same time promoting an inclusive culture in which our workforce feels connected by a common purpose and shared values.

    During the year, the Company asked all UK staff to participate in a Diversity and Inclusion survey in order to gain a better understanding of the demographics of our workforce and identify areas of priority for the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group to address. Some of the actions we have taken in response to the survey and to promote diversity within Bloomsbury (as well as 
    to support increased diversity within the wider publishing ecosystem) are as follows:

    • Six support networks have been established (BAME, Carers, Disabled, LGBTQ+, Parents/Guardians and Mental Health) to promote an inclusive and supportive culture within Bloomsbury. These networks also complement the activities of the Diversity and inclusion Working Group by providing valuable feedback and helping to set priorities for future action;
    • A Diversity and Inclusion Policy to formalise the Company’s approach towards diversity and inclusion has been approved by the Board and adopted;
    • Employees will be provided with ongoing training in unconscious bias, equality and diversity to reinforce Bloomsbury’s culture of equal treatment of all employees;
    • Working with the Publishers’ Association and LDN Apprenticeships, Bloomsbury helped to establish the country’s first Publishing  Assistant Apprenticeship programme. This scheme places young candidates from lower socio-economic backgrounds into publishing houses for a year of continuous learning through work experience and individual study modules, and leads to the award of a Level 3 Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship Standard accredited by AIM Awards. It launched in October 2019, when Bloomsbury  welcomed two apprentices to the Academic Production department. Bloomsbury continues to sit on the programme’s Advisory Board; and
    • On an ongoing basis, Bloomsbury partners with Creative Access – an organisation dedicated to recruiting under-represented talent into the creative industries – not only to attract and hire promising candidates into entry-level and early-career roles, but to build their careers through training and awareness programmes for the employee and employer.

    The Board, supported by the Nomination Committee, oversees the diversity and inclusion initiatives across the Group and is committed to developing a strong and diverse talent pipeline in connection with effective succession planning. The Board receives regular updates on strategic HR initiatives across the Group with a view to ensuring that the strategies in place are effective in promoting a culture that upholds Bloomsbury’s principles of inclusion, diversity and equality.