PRH Author Diversity Audit

As part of its attempts to improve diversity, Penguin Random House has published its “phase one” study on the demographics of authors, illustrators, and translators of works published from the start of 2019 to the end of 2021. They received 3,415 responses, and concluded that the company’s ‘‘contributor demographics do not reflect U.S. reader demographics when it comes to race and ethnicity. Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous representation is low, while white representation is overindexed. Significant growth in the under­represented contributor populations is required to accurately reflect U.S. demographics.’’ According to the report, 74.9% of PRH contributors identi­fied as white, and only 23.5% BIPOC. Of those, 5% are Hispanic or Latinx, 6% Black or African American, 6.8% Asian, and 3.3% bi- or multi-racial. In terms of other demographics: 61% are women, 34% are men, and 3% are transgender or gender nonconforming, while 16% percent are LGBTQ, and 8% percent are disabled.

The report noted that contributor demographics are correlated to employee demographics, and assert that, ‘‘Achieving our workforce diversi­fication goals, in addition to making changes in our internal culture, will support our Contributor diversification goals.’’ It cautions that ‘‘the reality of standard acquisition and publishing timelines means the changes we are making to our processes now don’t always translate directly to our lists as quickly as we would like them to. That said, we can – and must – greatly accelerate our efforts.’’

Find out more at their website.

Locus Magazine, Science Fiction FantasyThis article and more like it in the January 2022 issue of Locus.

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