HC All In
Industry reports show the publishing sector is predominantly white, middle-class, Oxbridge-educated, straight and able-bodied. HarperCollins feels that it has a direct role in shaping culture and consequently a responsibility to enact change through content creation and recruitment methods.
HC All In started in autumn 2014 with the goal of implementing real and lasting change within the organisation and the publishing industry as a whole. The forum’s goal is to increase diversity and inclusion, with a particular focus on content and workforce, including enlisting a more inclusive pool of authors, illustrators and suppliers and engaging a broader readership. It also offers a safe space to discuss diversity issues with fellow employees and offer solutions.
HC All In works with HR on co-initiatives around increasing the talent pool through improving graduate schemes and planning outreach in a wider range of schools and universities. This includes creating a more level playing field for work experience, the main route into publishing, with a focus on Twitter applications. The forum also works with apprenticeship charity City Gateway and disability charity Whizz-Kidz on mock interviews and office skills days.
HC All In strives to increase the diversity of voices in publishing, including by working with agents and authors. The forum has rewritten HarperCollins’ brief to freelancers to emphasise the need for diverse content. In addition, the forum has worked with photo libraries to include more diverse images and seen real results.
In November 2015, HC All In presented its mission and achievements to the Executive Committee, gaining their full support. HarperCollins’ Chief Executive, Director of People and the HC All In Chair have been invited to speak widely on improving diversity within the industry, including at the 2016 London International Book Fair, among numerous other events. Members are kept informed through monthly forum meetings and newsletters. Forum members also regularly feedback to the Chair and six Diversity Champions and this feedback is used to plan future activity.
The forum has now grown to over 60 members from across HarperCollins Publishers and is planning internal and industry-wide events, including presentations and displays, panel discussions and further engagement of diverse authors. This increased awareness has begun to create cultural change across the organisation and has led to training resources, workplace monitoring and greater support becoming more widely available.
HC All In has a thorough breakdown of short-, medium- and long-term goals lasting up to five years, which will enable it to establish diversity and inclusion in the company’s values and achieve real change.