Freelancer Inclusivity Survey FAQs

Your questions answered

Why are Penguin Random House UK collecting this information?

Our aim is to become a more diverse and inclusive publisher and employer. We want our new hires and the books we acquire to reflect the rich diversity of UK society by 2023. You can read more about our inclusion strategy and progress here.

To achieve our goals, we are taking action in a number of ways; this includes improving representation among those we work with at every stage in the publishing process. Freelancers are a fundamental part of the process and we want to diversify the range of freelancers we work with. 

To understand whether our actions are making a difference, we need to have a measurable way of tracking our progress, which is why we are asking freelancers for personal information including gender, ethnicity and sexuality.

What specific questions are asked?

The process of capturing this information directly from freelancers and the questions we ask are based on best practice from expert organisations such as The Business Disability Forum, Stonewall and The Social Mobility Commission. 

The survey is an online questionnaire that includes several standard questions that are regularly included on similar forms regarding ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability and main languages. 

We have also included four questions to measure social mobility, asking for information about parental occupation, the type of school attended, qualification level and eligibility for Free School Meals. 

We will ask you for some information about the service(s) you have provided to Penguin Random House. This is to understand how freelancer diversity varies across the organisation and is in no way linked to amount or type of work you may receive in future. 

We do not ask for your name or attribute your response to you in any way. 

What will happen to my personal data?

If you decide to complete the questionnaire online, your answers will at no stage be attributed to you individually and you will not be asked to submit your name or contact details.

The data from the questionnaire will be collated by a central team within Penguin Random House UK through our approved survey provider. The team will analyse and aggregate the data and aim to publish this externally at a company level and internally at a divisional level, on an annual basis. All data will be stored confidentially and securely.

What data will be published?

We will aim to publish data annually regarding employees, acquisitions and the freelancers we work with in our annual Diversity & Inclusion report, which will be available on our website: The only freelancer data released will be the combined figures for Penguin Random House UK and will not include any individual’s specific data. The data will include statistics on gender, ethnicity, disability, social mobility and sexuality, all of which will be presented alongside total UK population statistics (using figures from the most recent national census). Internally, we aim to publish the same statistics at a divisional level.

Who receives the questionnaire?

The survey is sent by email to freelancers who have provided services to any Penguin Random House UK imprint or central department over the past twelve months. This includes freelancing roles such as photography, copywriting, copy-editing, proofreading and publicity. This also applies to freelancers based overseas who have provided services to Penguin Random House UK. 

What if I don’t want to participate?

Taking part in the questionnaire is entirely optional. If you do choose to participate, you can choose to complete only the questions you feel comfortable answering.

Will this change who Penguin Random House UK works with?

No. This isn’t about imposing a quota system. Instead, this is about measuring the impact of our actions over time to help make our company more inclusive and representative of the society we live in.

If I complete the survey now, will I have to complete it again in 2023?

The survey will run annually so we can measure any changes in the demographic mix of freelancers we work with. If you work with us in a freelance capacity in 2022, you will receive an invitation to complete the survey again in 2023. Your participation will always remain voluntary.

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