At the beginning of June I shared a message outlining a commitment to accelerate our strategy to be a more inclusive company and publisher.
In 2016 we committed to an ambition for both our new hires and the authors we acquire to reflect UK society by 2025. Our commitment was that through our inclusivity strategy we would aim for a positive shift towards that goal every year through to 2025. While we have made some progress, the events of the past weeks have thrown into sharp relief that we have not addressed the core issues that exist within our company and, more broadly, across the publishing industry, and that the pace of change has not been fast enough.
As a publisher, we believe in the power of words but, now is the time for commitment and urgent action and to reassess the goals we set ourselves.
Over the past few weeks we have hosted a number of open meetings and conversations with colleagues across the business, in which many have shared their feedback, ideas and challenges. We held two inclusivity working group meetings, which were attended by more than 150 colleagues, as well as a staff forum meeting and collected anonymous feedback through our intranet, which provided over 100 different recommendations. In addition to looking inwards, we have also sought external specialist expertise to help us reassess and define our goals and areas of focus.
Drawing on these discussions, our Leadership Team has been working to develop a new accelerated inclusion strategy, which provides our immediate goals and actions, focusing on racial equality and a set of updated priorities relating to our broader inclusivity strategy. You can find more information on our inclusion work and this accelerated strategy, 'Books for everyone, by everyone', here.