The Pan Macmillan Diversity and Inclusion Pledge and Associated Action Plan – September 2020

We believe that racism and prejudice of many kinds are still insidious in our societies and that these issues must be effectively addressed.  There is an urgent need for individuals, and companies such as ours, to be better allies and equitable employers to POC staff, authors and illustrators, to educate ourselves on issues of racism and prejudice, and to commit to sustained and effective action to oppose racism and ensure that it has no place at Pan Macmillan.

We have pledged that we will accelerate and expand this vital work. We have listened to the important conversations happening around us and, through a series of divisional discussion groups, we have heard the thoughts and ideas of our colleagues, and have taken stock of what this means for our business.

We know we need to do much more in order for Pan Macmillan to be a more diverse company and to champion black, non-black POC as well as other under-represented voices in our publishing and in our community. We are committed to educating ourselves on what it means to be an effective, egalitarian employer and in addition, on how we can more effectively support our diversity and inclusion groups. 

Below is our company D&I pledge and the first draft of what will be an evolving action plan to address it:

Our Diversity and Inclusion group established in January 2020 has been set up to provide safe and productive spaces for people to have a voice on issues of race and diversity within and outside the business. This group will be supported in the work it was set up to do and it is instrumental to the way we tackle these issues.

  • We have successfully set up our first two D&I community groups headed up by two elected chairs for each group
  • Each group has an Exec sponsor who they meet with Bi-Monthly to discuss ideas and initiatives for the business
  • We are bringing issues of concern from the D&I groups to the Exec for discussion and decision-making
  • We are consulting on our action plan with the D&I groups

With the support of Creative Access, an organisation committed to increasing diversity in publishing, we have brought some brilliant paid interns to Pan Macmillan, and in a number of cases, we have extended those contracts. In the future we know we need to do more work to support those individuals long term and to develop them within the business:

  • Based on feedback and our learnings from previous Creative Access paid internships we have modified our Creative Access programme. Key changes include increasing the duration from a six to a 12 month programme and putting in place a more comprehensive and structured programme of support for our interns which includes identifying any suitable longer term opportunities in the business at an appropriate time during the period of the internship
  • Recruitment for our next tranche of internships will commence in autumn 2020

Our partnership with Eric Festival has connected us with thousands of people from the black and non-black POC communities who we hope to inspire to pursue careers in publishing. We will continue to work with them on events and other means to engage with diverse audiences and attract more diverse applicants to our business. Moreover, we will build on this partnership and work with them on several new initiatives, including:

  • We have committed to be an early adopter of the ERIC Careers App which will launch in November 2020 
  • We will run two six-month paid creative internships per year in collaboration with Eric Festival. This will commence in Spring 2021
  • We will host a “How to get into Publishing” event with ERIC in the first quarter of 2021 in partnership with The BKS Agency

We will publish specific measures and targets on diversity and inclusion at Pan Macmillan:

  • We will be participating in the Publishers Association Diversity survey (for the third year) in autumn 2020 and commit to publishing local Pan Mac results to the company 
  • We acknowledge that we need to make specific improvements to the proportions of POC staff in the publishing, commercial and creative areas including editorial, comms, design and sales, across both Adult and Children’s divisions. We have previously committed to ensuring that people of colour comprise 20% of our workforce and we remain a long way short: currently 9% of our Pan Macmillan team identify as people of colour, and that number is 11% when including our shared departments across MPIL (HR, Technology and Legal). 
  • We will continue to work towards our 20% target through changes to our recruitment, management and development processes, outlined below, and by making Pan Macmillan a more inclusive place to work and thrive. 
  • As part of our work, we aspire to filling a percentage of our vacancies with those from ethnically diverse backgrounds. We will target 10% of vacancies in 2021, 12.5% of vacancies in 2022, 15% of vacancies in 2023, 17.5% of vacancies in 2024 and 20% of vacancies in 2025. We are aware that black people are particularly underrepresented and specific efforts will be made to address this as we work towards these targets. 
  • We will review our targets on recruitment every six months

To achieve our goal we will not only continue our work with Creative Access and Eric Festival, we also pledge to strengthen our hiring practices to ensure equity and mitigate potential biases.

In particular, we recognise that there is a clear under-representation of people of colour at the more senior levels in the organisation and commit to exploring avenues for recruiting more senior people of colour.

We can also see that we need to foster a more inclusive environment at Pan Macmillan.

Below are a series of new initiatives designed to address the need for more robust recruitment processes as well as to foster the inclusive environment to which we aspire: 

  • Since July 2020 we have been publishing salaries in job adverts up to £35k pa, and we will now raise this to £45k going forward. We will review this policy on an ongoing basis
  • The HR team have identified a range of non-traditional avenues for recruitment and are beginning to introduce these to hiring managers as vacancies arise; we are also exploring specific avenues, agencies and platforms for recruiting more senior people of colour 
  • In October 2020 we will be launching a new recruitment portal for Pan Macmillan which we have invested in to enable more sophisticated recruitment methods to minimise unconscious bias  
  • We have contracted with specialist trainers to run workshops from 2021 for hiring managers on good practice recruitment and avoiding bias in the recruitment process. 
  • We will pilot Blind Applications recruitment through our new Recruitment Portal in the first quarter of 2021 and will review the success of this approach 
  • From January 2021 we will pilot alternative application processes such as, for example, video applications, through the new Recruitment Portal
  • We are developing guidance on providing much more structured, transparent career development information and support to enable people of colour to progress within the company
  • We are developing a plan to partner with independent bookshops on outreach and work experience/ internships for people of colour from the book retail sector who are interested in transferring into publishing careers
  • We have created an internal cross divisional assistants network to help inclusion and learning
  • We will send six monthly reminders of our Dignity at Work policy, which covers all forms of bullying and harassment including racism.
  • From 1st January 2021 we are introducing a Faith Day policy which offers all  employees from non-Christian faiths an extra day of leave to be able to celebrate the respective festivals of our communities

We are proud of all the POC authors and illustrators we publish and are committed to increasing the diversity of our lists.  We are clear that our lists are not representative enough of the society we live in and that we must address this: 

  • We have completed an exercise to estimate the proportion of our commissions that are by authors and illustrators of colour. The results are as follows:
      • In 2019, POC authors and illustrators made up 12% of our commissions, with black authors and illustrators specifically making up 3%
      • In 2020, POC authors and illustrators make up 13% of our commissions, with black authors and illustrators specifically making up 3%
      • We are targeting to grow the proportion of authors and illustrators of colour we acquire across our lists to 15% by 2023, and we will target at least 5% to be black authors and illustrators by the same point. This will bring our representation broadly in line with national proportions; further to this we need to work towards even more ambitious representation. 
  • To achieve this, we are:
      • Widening our reader networks and building a network of sensitivity readers
      • Pursuing partnerships with literature organisations outside the M25
      • Working to eliminate unconscious bias in the consideration of submissions by instigating the process of editors cross-checking submissions for consideration by authors and illustrators of colour
      • Considering the best design for an active callout programme for manuscripts by authors of colour
      • Running events for illustrators of colour to access information about publishing and also present portfolios of work 
      • Extending the reach of our Macmillan Prize for Illustration (the Mac Prize) to encourage more diverse submissions through a range of additional higher education and other institutions
      • Recruiting new consultants to work with to help us better acquire a wider pool of writing and illustrating talent
      • Initiating an approach for establishing comparability in our advances and fees across all authors and illustrators, and committing to monitoring this on an ongoing basis 
      • Working closely with the Black Writers’ Guild as they develop their ‘Gold Standard’ for tracking and monitoring the proportions of and payments to Black writers across the industry

In support of this we are also working to ensure we can understand and reach more diverse audiences. To do this we are:

  • Developing a deeper set of audience insights specifically about POC readers by combining Books and Consumers data with our own proprietary Reader Segmentation
  • Commissioning analysis and research from our media partners CISION to help us understand our existing reach and gaps, to benchmark our current reach to Black and non black PC consumers and to set annual targets to ensure reach is in line with the national demographic
  • Setting hard targets for all our digital channels in terms of POC contributors, pieces and posts
  • Sourcing and contracting with the most suitable marketing agencies, freelancers, media partners, creatives and consultancies to work with across the business to help us find new routes to market, acquisitions and suppliers
  • Ensuring the reader panels we consult are fully representative of our audiences

We will increase our engagement with industry organisations to bring them together to effect change within our wider publishing community.

  • We will work with the PA/BA to promote issues around diversity and in particular we will engage with them regarding a cross- industry audit and ongoing monitoring of the growth of POC authors and illustrators
  • We will discuss how we can widen our pool of talent with both the Agents Association and SOA
  • We will continue to consult with the BWG regarding our plans and ideas
  • We will set up a stakeholder group in collaboration with the BWG, the purpose of which will be to undertake ongoing engagement between Pan Mac and the BWG, to enable Pan Mac to improve in the areas of Black recruitment, acquisitions, outreach and our understanding of relevant consumer trends. 

Over the next year, everyone who works at Pan Macmillan will receive unconscious bias training and training on how to be an effective ally.

  • We will offer all Pan Macmillan employees external training on Allyship and Unconscious Bias in February 2021 delivered by one of our partner organisations, The Other Box
  • All managers with responsibility for hiring will receive best practice recruitment training from our partner Creative Access
  • All POC within Pan Mac will be offered the opportunity to have a mentor within the company on a voluntary basis
  • We will review and develop our ongoing D&I training offering annually 

We will also give each member of the company one additional paid day off per year, to give back to our communities.

  • In January 2021 we are launching a formal volunteering scheme providing each  member of Pan Mac with a paid day off to do community work. This is completely voluntary. The focus of the Volunteer scheme for 2021 will be dedicated to supporting diverse communities

We the leadership team pledges to take the time to educate ourselves, to hear what our colleagues have to say and to develop a deeper understanding:

  • We have made a shared set of reading and resources available to everyone on our internal intranet
  • A quarterly discussion club has been set up for the Executive team to enable learning and understanding of D&I issues, around relevant books, articles, blogs and other sources of insight and inspiration. The reading and listening tasks will be set by Raakhi Vadera, and she will work with the D&I groups for suggestions, as well as welcoming ideas from anyone in the company who would like to suggest an idea for this programme. 
  • A programme of external speakers is being established to come in and speak to the Exec and leadership team
  • Each Exec member will be offered the opportunity to mentor a POC from the creative industries. This will start in Q4 2020. 
  • We will arrange feedback sessions from our D&I groups for the Exec team 
  • We acknowledge that the Executive Team, while diverse in many regards, is not representative in relation to race and ethnicity. We know that ultimately this is a key factor in making significant change. We will continue to review opportunities to make this change.
  • We will engage a senior consultancy role who will attend and inform the Exec to ensure that D&I considerations are integrated into our discussions and our work. A key element of their remit will be to help us build a viable programme to bring on more senior people of colour into and through the business. 
  • Sara Lloyd, Lara Borlenghi and Belinda Rasmussen will continue to work as Exec sponsors supporting the work of the D&I forum at Pan Macmillan, alongside Rina Gulrajani and Raakhi Vadera

We will provide the opportunity for our colleagues to speak to the leadership team or to provide feedback anonymously on what we can do better. 

  • We will commission a third party to  run an anonymous survey to gather further feedback from the business about what we can do to improve our culture of Diversity and Inclusion at Pan Macmillan and will share these results with the company. 
  • We will continue to offer opportunities for individuals to give feedback to members of the Exec on areas of concern so that we can address these at the earliest opportunity.
Logos for Creative Access, Eric Festival, The BKS Agency and The Other Box


Pan Macmillan statement on Black Lives Matter and Diversity and Inclusion – June 2020

We have watched the recent horrifying events in America with sadness and anger, and have observed the protests that have arisen worldwide in response. They have reminded us that racism and prejudice is still insidious in our societies and that this issue must be effectively addressed.  There is an urgent need for individuals, and companies such as ours, to be better allies to the black community, to educate ourselves on black issues and to commit to sustained and effective action to oppose racism and ensure that it has no place at Pan Macmillan.

 We have pledged that we will accelerate and expand this vital work. We have listened this week to the important conversations happening around us and to the thoughts of our colleagues, and have taken stock of what this means for our business.

 These events have come as a brutal jolt, and they have caused us to revisit our plans and conclude that we need to do more in order for Pan Macmillan to be a more diverse company and to champion black, as well as other under-represented voices in our publishing and in our community. We are taking the time to educate ourselves on what it means to be effective allies to our diverse population and in addition, on how we can more effectively support our diversity and inclusion groups.  

Please see our Diversity and Inclusion pledge, below.

Our Pledge

Pan Macmillan must become through our committed and more urgent efforts, a more inclusive and diverse place to work, and an enterprise which better reflects the world we live in and the markets we serve.   

  • Our Diversity and Inclusion group established in January 2020 has been set up to provide safe and productive spaces for people to have a voice on issues of race and diversity within and outside the business. This group will be supported in the work it was set up to do and it is instrumental to the way we tackle these issues.
  • With the support of Creative Access, an organisation committed to increasing diversity in publishing, we have brought some brilliant interns to Pan Macmillan, and in a number of cases we have extended those contracts. In the future we know we need to do more work to support those individuals long term and to develop them within the business.
  • Our partnership with Eric Festival has connected us with thousands of people from diverse backgrounds who we hope to inspire to pursue careers in publishing. We will continue to work with them on events and other means to engage with diverse audiences and attract more diverse applicants to our business.
  • We will publish a clear action plan, with specific measures and targets, on diversity and inclusion at Pan Macmillan by the end of September 2020.
  • We have previously committed to ensuring that people of colour comprise 20% of our workforce and we remain a long way short. To achieve that goal we will continue our work with Creative Access and Eric Festival, and pledge to strengthen our hiring practices to ensure equity and mitigate potential biases.
  • We are proud of all the POC authors and illustrators we publish, and are committed to increasing the diversity of our lists.  We are clear that our lists are not representative enough of the diversity of the society we live in and that we must address this: We will provide detail on how we’re going to do this in our action plan coming in September 2020.
  • We will increase our engagement with industry organisations to bring them together to effect change within our wider publishing community.
  • Over the next year, everyone who works at Pan Macmillan will receive unconscious bias training and training on how to be an effective ally.
  • We will also give each member of the company one additional paid day off per year, to give back to our communities.
  • We the leadership team pledges to take the time to educate ourselves, to hear what our colleagues have to say and to develop a deeper understanding.
  • We will provide the opportunity for our colleagues to speak to the leadership team or to provide feedback anonymously on what we can do better.