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Hachette UK reveals Ethnicity Pay Gap Action Plan

Hachette UK has today revealed its Ethnicity Pay Gap Action Plan, following publication of its second Ethnicity Pay Gap Report* in July and subsequent employee workshops over the summer.


Hachette UK’s 2020 Ethnicity Pay Gap Report showed that representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees increased to 9.6% this year, which is 5.4% away from the publisher’s 2024 target of 15% of the total group workforce. The action plan identifies four key areas to build on this progress – recruitment, progression, retention and representation – and includes actions that are the evolution of previous plans, as well as the second phase of prior reviews.


The action plan has been spearheaded by HR in consultation with Saskia Bewley, Hachette UK’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion, and THRIVE, the publisher’s BAME employee network. It also aligns with the plans of Hachette UK’s Inclusivity Taskforce, which was established earlier this year in response to the Black Writers’ Guild and is led by Sharmaine Lovegrove, to focus on cultural interventions towards increasing representation of Black staff and authors. Collectively, they form part of Hachette UK’s wider mission to attract and retain diverse talent through a programme of policies and initiatives known as Changing the Story.


Melanie Tansey, Group HR Director of Hachette UK, commented: “To deliver on our mission of helping everyone, everywhere, to access new worlds of learning, entertainment, ideas and opportunity, we must ensure that more diverse perspectives and stories are shared through our publishing. And that starts with having a more diverse workforce. We still have a long journey ahead of us and we have developed the Ethnicity Pay Gap Action Plan with colleagues across the business to create a roadmap for becoming the wholly inclusive employer and publisher that we hope to be.”


The first key area of the Ethnicity Pay Gap Action Plan is recruitment, which includes:

  • Introducing a resourcing and recruitment policy, which sets out clear expectations of the basic requirements when recruiting, and best practice on increasing representation.
  • Refreshing the way in which we present our career offering, including on our website, job advertisement copy, and with agencies.
  • Establishing a set and targeted Diversity and Inclusion network to which we will send all our vacancies.
  • Providing clarity for managers on the recruitment journey and assessment, via a defined process, manager toolkit of clear guidance and resources on the interview process, and recruitment training.
  • Reviewing the way in which we track applicants, with consideration to effective data monitoring.
  • Introducing an enhanced Publishing Traineeship model.
  • Introducing a new summer work experience programme.


The second key area of the Ethnicity Pay Gap Action Plan is progression, which includes:

  • Relaunching the four pillars of Hachette UK’s strategy to engage all colleagues on the behaviours we expect and want to see.
  • Completing a People Census to provide a detailed report of the workforce, including representation by ethnicity.
  • Creating a Mirror Board career development programme, so that our cohort of high-potential colleagues from BAME backgrounds can transition into an alumni programme in March 2021, after completing their time on the Mirror Board.


The third key area of the Ethnicity Pay Gap Action Plan is retention, which includes:

  • Delivering cultural awareness training to all colleagues, to enhance the intercultural competencies needed to make diversity a part of our identity.
  • Conducting a preferred terms consultation with THRIVE, to agree terms of reference for ethnicity communications.
  • Exploring qualitative data collection on lived experience (e.g. via focus groups) and by ethnic group.
  • Supporting THRIVE to continue mentoring circles, structured conversations designed to think through a workplace challenge, to enable peer-to-peer development.


The fourth key area of the Ethnicity Pay Gap Action Plan is representation, which includes:

  • Conducting a publishing audit to benchmark the diversity of our author base across Hachette UK.
  • Creating the ‘Grow Your Story’ writers’ development programme for emerging writers from a BAME background.
  • Running portfolio sessions for designers and illustrators from a BAME background.

To read Hachette UK’s 2020 Ethnicity Pay Gap Report, please visit: https://www.hachette.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/HUK-EPG-Report-July-2020_FINAL.pdf




Notes to Editors

* An ethnicity pay gap is the difference between the average earning of all BAME employees and the average earning of all non-BAME employees, expressed as a percentage of non-BAME employees’ earnings.