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EA Inclusion Conducts the Biggest UK Publishing Workforce Survey Ever

Friday 24th January 2020

EA Inclusion was again engaged by the Publishers Association to deliver its diversity and inclusion workforce survey in 2019. This years survey was the biggest UK workforce survey ever conducted within the publishing industry, with data collected for 12,702 employees from over 57 publishing companies.

EA Inclusion - Publishers Association Publishing Industry Diversity & Inclusion Survey 2019

“The Publishers Association’s annual diversity workforce monitoring survey is leading the way within the creative industries.
“This work has gone from strength to strength, with participation increasing substantially from last year, both in terms of the number of organisations and individuals taking part. These latest figures provide the truest reflection of the diversity within the publishing industry to date, with some hugely positive pockets of results. Diversity adds huge value to the publishing industry, and whilst there continues to be some common challenges, the Publishers Association along with industry leaders are taking action to address them.
“Once again, we’d like to thank the organisations and individuals that participated in this work, and we look forward to continuing to support the PA and organisations within the industry to embed inclusion.”

- Ben Runcorn, Commercial and Marketing Manager at EA Inclusion


Publishers Association Press Release

The most comprehensive overview of the UK publishing workforce ever recorded has been released today by the Publishers Association, showing that the number of women in senior leadership roles and representation of LGB+ staff are high within the industry, but there is still progress to be made in areas such as socioeconomic diversity, regional diversity and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation.

The 2019 survey, the third of its kind, is based on data from over 57 publishing companies of varying sizes across academic, education and consumer publishing. Data from a total of 12,702 employees was collected, an increase in survey size of 97.5% from 2018.

The first survey results in 2017 were used as the basis for the Publishers Association’s 10-point Inclusivity Action Plan and two related five-year targets – aiming for at least 50% of leadership positions and executive level roles to be occupied by women and 15% of publishing employees to be BAME by 2022.

Key findings include:

  • 55% of senior leadership and executive level roles were held by women (55% in senior leadership roles and 53% at executive level)

  • 13.0% of respondents identified as BAME, which is higher than last year (11.6%) but has not yet reached the 15% target

  • 10.3% of respondents identified as LGB+, significantly more than the UK population (2.0%)

  • 6.6% of respondents identified as having a disability or impairment, with the majority of respondents (75.7%) either being open (33.7%) or partially open (42.0%) about it at work

  • 1 in 4 of respondents (25.5%) have caring responsibilities

  • More than a quarter of respondents grew up in the South East of England (26.1%), with a further 13.9% growing up in the East of England, and 11.2% growing up in London. The North East of England had the lowest representation of all the English regions, with just 1.2% of respondents

  • 18.8% of respondents attended an independent or fee-paying school, which is almost three times higher than the UK average

  • There is a lack of representation (0.0% - 1 respondent) of those aged under 18 and low representation of those aged over 55 (8.1%), considering that by 2020, one-third of the workforce will be over 50

Stephen Lotinga, CEO of the Publishers Association, said:

“This year’s survey provides us with the most comprehensive data on diversity and inclusion in UK publishing that has ever been gathered. It’s encouraging that so many in the industry are now taking part, indicating a growing culture of sharing workforce information for the benefit of the industry as a whole.
“Once again, while the survey data shows positive areas it also highlights those where we need to improve in order to make publishing as inclusive as possible and ensure that the industry attracts and retains diverse talent. There is a huge amount of valuable work going on across publishing to drive change. I am particularly encouraged by the new Publishing Assistant apprenticeship which has created an additional route into the industry with a great deal of potential.”

The Publishers Association’s diversity work in 2020 will include further establishing the new apprenticeship standard, a continued focus on regional diversity, recruitment and retention of BAME employees, connecting employee networks across the industry and sharing best practice with other creative industries.

The Publishers Association engaged diversity and inclusion specialists EA Inclusion to undertake the workforce survey in 2019. The survey will continue to be conducted annually.


Jasmine Joynson

Media Relations Manager

The Publishers Association

020 7089 5816

07884 585349


Notes to Editors

  • The full survey results will be made available here on Friday 24th January 2020

  • Please note that the number of respondents varies with each question.

  • Not all questions reflect all 12,702 employees. The number of respondents is recorded on the survey next to the corresponding question.

The Publishers Association’s diversity work in 2020 will focus on:

  • Apprenticeships - As part of our work broadening the routes to publishing we have established the Publishing Assistant apprenticeship in partnership with training provider LDN Apprenticeships. The first cohort of apprentices started in late 2019 and we will work to expand the programme throughout 2020 and beyond.

  • Recruitment, retention and development of BAME staff - This will include continuing employee-focused roadshows and training workshops in partnership with Creative Access across a range of geographical locations.

  • Connecting employee networks - Recognising the growing value of employee networks, we will be connecting networks across the industry around areas such as disability to encourage shared learning.

  • Regional diversity - Including regional workshops in partnership with the Northern Fiction Alliance and publishing courses held outside of London and the South East.

  • Sharing best practice - We will be working with the Creative Industries Council to share experience and best practice with other industries at a series of roundtables, starting with one on data gathering.

The Publishers Association’s Inclusivity Action Plan:

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