HBG Diversity Update

Hachette Book Group published their annual diversity update, covering 2020. They announced increases in staff diversity at all levels in the company, the largest being a 31% increase among senior managers, including directors and higher (though they’re still almost 80% white). Employees identifying as BIPOC increased seven percent in 2020. Acquisitions saw a bump, too: new authors and illustrators of color made up 29% of book deals, compared to 22% in 2019.

The company touted initiatives including a raise to starting salaries and the hiring of a vice-president of diversity and inclusion in February 2021. Staff have organized resource groups in order to “share experiences and make recommendations for improvements” for Black, Latinx, and Asian/Pacific American employees as well as for women, LGBTQIA+, trans & gender non-conforming, and employees from non-majority religions. They continue to train employees on diversity issues and to expand outreach.

CEO Michael Pietsch said,

It has been very encouraging to see the level of engagement, urgency, and collaboration throughout HBG, and the improvement we have seen in the past year. At the same time, we recognize that there is still a huge amount of work ahead. We are committed to making meaningful progress toward our goals and working together to create a workplace and publish­ing programs that reflect the diversity of the nation of readers we want to publish for. The energy and the focus to achieve those goals is in place, thanks to the deep commitment of our employees and our senior management.

For more information, see the complete report.

This review and more like it in the May 2021 issue of Locus.

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