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UK publishing workforce still lacking in BAME representation, regional diversity

In the UK, the Publisher’s Association (PA) has released the results of its second survey of the publishing workforce, finding that while improvements have been made around representation of women in senior leadership roles, LGBTQIA+ employees, and disabled staff, the representation of people of colour and regional diversity in publishing is still lacking.

The 2018 survey found that 54% of senior leadership and executive level roles are held by women, 8.2% of individuals identify as being LGBTQIA+ (over four times that of the estimated UK population, at 2%), and 5.4% of respondents identify as having a disability.

However, only 11.6% of respondents identified as black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME)—less than the UK population (14%)—reflecting the previous survey, conducted in 2017, which found that 90% of UK publishing workers identified as white British.

‘While the data does show some progress is being made, we should not shy away from the fact there are still some key areas where much more needs to be done,’ said PA CEO Stephen Lotinga.

‘There is common recognition amongst publishers of the importance of diversity and inclusion issues and the PA is committed to this work in the longer term, in terms of further developing the survey and our broader work, to help the industry identify and direct their action on inclusivity.’

The majority of UK publishing workers also come from south-east England (19.8%) and London (15.1%), revealing further issues regarding privilege and class. Novelist Ben Myers told the Guardian: ‘For someone seeking a job in publishing, an internship involves having to find accommodation in London for several weeks, or having contacts in the city. It becomes an impossibility for someone from a working class background with no family connections.’

The PA plans to conduct the survey annually as part of a five-year plan, in which it aims for at least 50% of leadership and executive-level positions to be occupied by women and 15% of publishing employees to be BAME by 2022.

To read the full report, visit the PA website.



Category: International news