Hachette reveals BAME employment and pay gap

News - Publishing Wednesday, 17 April 2019

David Shelley says data 'vividly illuminates the lack of representation in the company, an issue we absolutely need to address as the future of our business depends on us reaching the widest readership'

In its first annual report on lovels of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) employment and pay, the findings reveal in the larger Hachette Group, comprising 1,650 staff and including the distribution business, a median ethnicity pay gap of -6.9%, and a median bonus ethnicity pay gap of -10.4%.

In the smaller Hachette UK 'largely consisting of publishing staff based in London' the median ethnicity pay gap is -2.0%, with a median bonus ethnicity pay gap of 9.9%.

The report also outlines the ethnic composition of Hachette. In the larger Hachette Group, 7.7% of the 1,650 staff are BAME. In the smaller Hachette UK business, the proportion is slightly higher, at 10.4% of the 831 staff. The report states: 'In line with the PA Inclusivity Action Plan, published in 2017, our BAME representation target is 15% of the total group workforce within five years.'

The report includes a nine-point action plan to 'see significant change by attracting, retaining and progressing talented BAME staff.' Elements include recruiting from around the UK and opening more offices outside London, 'striving to have at least one BAME candidate on interview shortlists for all job vacancies, establishing a "Mirror Board" career development programme for high potential BAME staff to work alongside the main HUK board on key business challenges' and 'continuing our highly successful Diverse Future Leaders Mentoring Scheme, providing talent from backgrounds currently under-represented at senior level the opportunity to be mentored by and reverse mentor a Hachette UK board member.' The report reveals that currently no-one on the Hachette UK board is from a BAME background.

The report also pledges: 'To ensure that our publishing is representative and reflects the requirements of all our readers, we will undertake regular audits of our publishing programmes.'

Chief executive David Shelley commented alongside the report in a group-wide email to staff. "As you’ll know, this pay gap report is not a legal obligation, so the reporting is wholly voluntary because we wanted to follow through on our commitment to be as transparent as possible on all key issues. I will not go into detail here as it is thoroughly covered in the report – but one crucial thing I did want to highlight is that the data vividly illuminates the lack of representation in the company…an issue we absolutely need to address as the future of our business depends on us reaching the widest readership. We all need to work together, as a team, to address this by becoming representative of the population at all levels of the workforce, crucially including senior leadership, and in our publishing.

"Reading this data, it will be clear to you all how far we have to go. But I believe that it is only by gathering and publicly reporting on this, together with formulating our action plan, that we can take vital steps on the road to becoming a truly representative company."

In a statement THRIVE, Hachette's network for BAME staff, said: "In just two years, the THRIVE network has created a strong community of 250+ members who help to build cultural awareness, bring people together and build people up - to widen the representation of BAME employees at Hachette. This ethnicity pay gap report is truly illuminating. By knowing where we stand, we can realise what we want to achieve.

"We hope that releasing such powerful data becomes industry practice and leads to meaningful, visible change. We look forward to working with HR and the board on the action plan, with the understanding that representation is only part of the story. Progressing more people from BAME backgrounds to leadership and gatekeeping roles is vital so that our publishing stays relevant, reflects the society we live in, and allows different voices to be heard."

Sharmaine Lovegrove (publisher, Dialogue) and Nick Davies (managing director, John Murray Press) who are co-chairs of Changing the Story, Hachette's programme to create positive change inside the business - THRIVE is one of its eight initiatives - said: "We’re so pleased that the Ethnicity Pay Gap has been published. It really shows the commitment of Hachette UK and our agenda towards inclusivity as the core driver of Changing the Story. The figures reflect that we have a very long way to go to be representative of our society across all areas of our publishing and the action plan proves our determination to get there. We very much look forward to working with the board to create meaningful, long term change."

Hachette released the report in exactly the same presentational style as the legally-enforced report into gender pay, and the data was collected at the same time. Staff were asked to self-identify their ethnic group through the internal HR network. There is no legal obligation on employers to audit their staff's pay on ethnic grounds, but Hachette hopes that other publishers will follow its example.

Pictured: David Shelley

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