Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At Pan Macmillan we are committed to ensuring Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is at the heart of everything we do. Our ambition is to foster a fully inclusive culture and environment where our colleagues can be their authentic selves at work, where the books we publish are fully reflective of the society we live in and the audience we reach is fully diverse.

Our DEI Strategy

We’re committed to increasing representation at Pan Macmillan and across the wider publishing industry. We are signatories to the Publishers Association Inclusivity Action Plan and we are committed to improving diversity, equity and inclusion within the industry.

At Pan Macmillan, we have devised a DEI strategy which provides us with a roadmap to create an inclusive workplace and to be an inclusive publisher. Our strategy comprises four goals and identifies our priorities and the actions we will take to achieve our ambitions:

  • Pan Inclusion
  • Pan Culture
  • Pan Audience
  • Pan Social Mobility 

Pan Inclusion

We are prioritising the recruitment and retention of people of colour, as research has shown that the lack of POC within the industry has an impact on the books that are published, which in turn affects the likelihood of attracting a broad and diverse audience who are interested in reading.

We aim to remove barriers into publishing for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and have implemented a number of internal initiatives including removing unnecessary qualifications from job adverts.

Pan Culture

Our aim is to foster an inclusive culture and ensure diversity, equity and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do from recruitment to the range of books we publish.

We acknowledge that there are systemic barriers in place that prohibit full inclusion and we will be working to remove them by creating an internal talent pipeline of underrepresented talent.

Pan Audience

Our main aim is to increase the diversity of the Pan Macmillan audience by ensuring our books reflect the society in which we live. We are working in partnership with the Black Writers Guild and the Publishers Association to monitor and increase the number of authors and illustrators from underrepresented backgrounds.

Pan Social Mobility

We acknowledge that the publishing industry is underrepresented with people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. This includes those who work in publishing houses as well authors and illustrators. We are actively targeting more diverse applicants and partnering with organisations such as BTBS and LDN Apprenticeships to help us achieve our goals

Our journey so far. . .

Over the last few years Pan Macmillan has invested time, money and resource into various DEI initiatives with external partners. Some of the most high-profile are listed below:

  • 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.
  • 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 build on this partnership as we continue to work with them on events and other means to engage with diverse audiences and attract more diverse applicants into our business.
  • To encourage diversity among our freelance proof-readers and to support newcomers to the industry, we sponsored, in association with the Publishing Training Centre (PTC), an industry-recognized proofreading course for trainees from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in publishing – including, but not limited to, Black, Asian and ethnically diverse candidates, disabled people, neurodivergent people, and transgender and genderfluid people. This was a positive action proofreading traineeship that provided eight placements on a proofreading course run by PTC. Following the completion of this course, the placements had the opportunity to complete paid digital proofreading work and received mentoring and feedback.
  • We have formed a partnership with the Black Writers’ Guild, the purpose of which is to create a strong connection between Black stakeholders in publishing and senior decision-makers in the industry, and to discuss concerns and trends in the output of publishers.
  • We have worked with Stonewall, who have delivered Trans Inclusion Training to our staff and we will be participating in their Workplace Equality Index to assess Pan Macmillan’s achievements and progress on LGBTQ+ equality.
  • We monitor our press coverage for authors of colour to ensure campaigns are benchmarked against white authors. We also measure our reach into readers of colour to ensure that our campaigns are fully inclusive in terms of readership
  • We’re proud to be the headline sponsors of the Black British Book Festival for the second year in a row. Founded by Selina Brown, the event aims to demystify the publishing industry and assist in removing barriers for Black authors. As part of the programme, Pan Macmillan staff members mentored festival goers, providing advice on how to edit submissions and giving an insight into jobs within the industry.
  • Our Staff Networks (Employee Resource Groups) RISE, The Ability Network and Pan Mac PRIDE, work closely with our Leadership Team to address issues and raise awareness around their particular characteristics. As well as offering a safe space and support for their members, they encourage allies to be involved in their initiatives. We hope to establish more ERGs in the coming months with the aim of having safe spaces that encompass everyone at Pan Macmillan.
  • Our sales team developed a Publishing Mentorship Programme called the Secret Life of Books, in which they invited booksellers to learn more about the publishing industry. This included sessions on how it is decided which books to publish, how editors turn a manuscript into a finished book, an introduction to the processes behind cover design and book production, and how an author gets on TV or into the broadsheets, and how a book ad gets into a train station. They also show how books are sold into retailers and wholesalers and how the supply chain works

We are continuously reviewing how we can further our DEI journey: we know there is still a lot of work to be done at Pan Macmillan, but we are committed to Making a Difference.