Tag Archives: Diversity

LGBT History Month in Books and Publishing

February is LGBT History Month in the UK, a month to remember the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people throughout history and to raise awareness of the current position of LGBT people in society. We thought this would be a good time to reflect on and celebrate LGBT authors and those working in publishing.

LGBT booksDetail of the portrait of a young woman (so-called Sappho) with writing pen and wax tablets

I am a big fan of LGBT literature, with my dissertation at university being about the influence of Sappho on twentieth century female poets – Anne Carson, with her beautiful translations of Sappho’s fragments; Amy Lowell, chronically overshadowed by her relative Robert; Olga Broumas and her collaborations with Jane Miller and T. Begley, celebrations of female love and desire.

Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Patrick Ness, Sarah Waters, Rita Mae Brown, Jeanette Winterson, Ali Smith… LGBT writers and texts have helped shape literary history, though many are forgotten, or their sexuality hidden. Many chose not to write explicitly about their sexualities, due to censorship. Today we obviously do not censor LGBT literature, though barriers remain to getting published. Books featuring LGBT characters may be considered more niche and therefore not chosen for publication. As a result, LGBT authors and characters are underrepresented on our bookshelves.

What’s changing in the publishing industry?

Publishers are trying to change this and diversify their lists. Penguin Random House launched Write Now in 2016, a programme for un-agented writers from communities underrepresented in publishing. This includes those from BAME and LGBT+ communities. Selected writers are invited to insight days and ten are selected for a year-long mentoring programme, with the aim to then publishing these writers.

Little Tiger announced today that they will be publishing a short-story anthology for young adults written by LGBT+ authors. They are now accepting submissions for PROUD from unpublished and un-agented LGBT+ writers.

Last year, Pride in Publishing launched as a network for anyone who identifies as LGBT+ working in the UK publishing industry. They hold bimonthly networking events and committee meetings which all members are welcome to attend.

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The Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap is something that affects a huge number of women in the UK and across most industries, including publishing. It is an issue that’s close to my heart, firstly being a woman and secondly working in recruitment and placing men and women into jobs. I’d like to hope we’re all doing more to address the gap and make this a fairer industry to be working in.

Gender Pay Gap and the Law

As members of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation), we are aware of the latest news and legal requirements in recruitment. There is new leglislation coming up where employers with more than 250 employees will need to report on gender pay gaps. The deadline is 4 April for private organisations and 30 March for public sector employers. Many employers have already started to file their data on the dedicated government website.

The Government’s Gender Pay Gap Campaign website is a good resource for employers, giving information about how to collect and report data on the issue and how to close the gap. The following infographic gives the benefits of gender diversity in the workforce.

Employer benefits: improves brand reputation, attracts an improved pool of talent, higher staff retention, boosts staff productivity, meets the diverse needs of customers

Source: Gender Pay Gap Campaign

The Gender Pay Gap in Publishing – Advertising Salaries

Publishing has historically not been transparent with disclosing salaries – likely for a number of reasons and not all of them negative. This might not be a popular view but I really feel the industry would be much healthier with full transparency where all jobs are advertised with a salary range that is based on skills and experience.

In the UK, we shy away from talking about how much we earn. This is part of the reason employers choose not to advertise salaries on their vacancies, as employees in the same or similar roles may not want their own salary to be made public. It’s a taboo to ask ‘How much do you earn?’ But without open discussion, we cannot know what we are worth and so women’s value can be underestimated, by themselves as well as by their employer.

We’ve written before about advertising salaries here. We regret that we usually cannot display salaries on our vacancies, although we always give candidates the salary information before they submit an application.

The gender pay gap is slowly narrowing, though we still have a way to go. What do you think publishers and recruiters can do to close the gap further?

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Make #BlueMonday into #BrightBlueMonday

Let’s face it: January can be a miserable month. It’s cold, Christmas is over, and the days may be getting longer but you wouldn’t know it when sometimes you go days without seeing the sun at all. This all gave rise to #BlueMonday – allegedly the most depressing day of the year.

#BrightBlueMonday

However, the charity Rethink Mental Health acknowledges that mental health isn’t dictated by the date. Depression can and does affect people every day of the year and this isn’t an issue to take lightly. That’s why they have come up with #BrightBlueMonday, a day to do some good and spread a bit of joy. They suggest that you ‘share a coffee with a colleague, bake something for the office or […] text an old friend to say hello.’

Brightening up a gloomy Monday morning is definitely something we can get behind. It’s also an opportunity to talk about serious issues. Employers: what are you doing to support those with mental health issues in your company? According to Rethink, 1 in 4 of us are affected by mental illness. The charity Mind’s research shows that ‘a culture of fear and silence around mental health is costly to employers’, and it may lead to poorer employee retention, higher absenteeism and lower motivation among staff.Woman smiling under rainbow umbrella. Text reads: 15 January Show your colours on #BrightBlueMonday

So what can employers do to help?

Mind have put together a fantastic collection of resources for businesses here. It’s about being accommodating and offering tailored reasonable adjustments to employees, whether that’s flexible working, providing a workspace that is, for example, quiet or has lots of natural light, or extra support for employees experiencing stress. Another policy could be a buddy system, which offers support outside of a line-management structure.

Charities like Mind and Rethink Mental Health have contributed to the positive cultural shift in attitudes towards mental illness. Companies are also making changes to better support their employees, but there are things we could all do to reach out to our friends and colleagues who may be struggling. So let’s make #BlueMonday into #BrightBlueMonday and spread some positivity today.

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Building Inclusivity in Publishing Conference 2017

Is Publishing Inclusive these days?

Diversity or inclusivity in publishing is very much in the industry news and I went along to the Building Inclusivity in Publishing Conference organised by the London Book Fair and the Publisher’s Association. It’s really good that the industry is addressing this, but it does feel like it’s a particular issue within Trade book publishing. We work with a wide range of sectors in publishing (academic, educational, professional, trade, STM, B2B) and there is a much more mixed demographic across the other sectors.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Creative Industries said diversity is a moral imperative and our social and economic responsibility which I’m sure we all agree with. Everyone also seemed to agree we need to have more role models from diverse backgrounds and it’s vital that there is diversity in senior leadership. Simon Dowson-Collins, General Counsel and Company Secretary at HarperCollins acknowledged that all people are different – some are extrovert, some introvert but it’s important to speak out so people can see BAME people in senior roles and aspire to it.

Halo/Horns Effect

In terms of recruitment, it’s important to have processes in place that avoid what’s called the ‘halo / horns’ effect – where you immediately warm to people like you and are less keen on those who are different. Some of our publisher clients are on top of this, for example using new processes that strip out names in the application process so hiring managers are not biased in their selection process. There have also been some recent strides including the HarperCollins BAME scheme, Little Brown’s new imprint Dialogue Books (publishing books by people under-represented in publishing).

Broadening Inclusivity in Entry-Level Recruitment

The afternoon session looked at broadening inclusivity in entry-level recruitment in publishing and there has been some progress in this area – it’s no longer the case that an English lit degree and a love of books is enough! Initiatives like Penguin no longer requiring a degree and offering help with accommodation and HarperCollins using video interviews and having a BAME grad scheme are helping. But it needs more work like us going in to schools to encourage publishing as a great career for all.

The Publisher’s Association has a 10-Point Inclusivity Action Plan that publishers can sign up to and is definitely worth a read to get some good ideas!

#Inclusivityconf17

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Beanstalk and Reading Matters have joined forces!

We were delighted to hear that Beanstalk who we’ve been supporting for the last 7 years has now merged with another literacy charity, Reading Matters. This will allow them to support even more children and young people and help them to achieve their 2020 vision of working with 30,000 children.

The aim of the charity is to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds gain confidence in reading. Beanstalk provides 1-1 reading support to children in primary schools and early years, Reading Matters covers secondary schools so this is a great combination.

In 2016-17 Reading Matters helped 6,497 children and young people while Beanstalk worked with 11,000 children over the same period.

About Beanstalk

  • Beanstalk is a national charity that provides one-to-one literacy support to children who struggle with their reading.
  • The charity recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one literacy support in primary schools.
    Beanstalk’s trained reading helpers transform the lives of the children they support, turning them into confident, passionate and able readers.
  • In the last school year the charity helped over 11,000 children across England, in over 1,400 schools, with the help of over 3,000 reading helpers, ensuring children have the skills and confidence to reach their true potential.
  • By 2020-21 Beanstalk aims to help 30,000 children every year, with 8,000 volunteers.

About Reading Matters

  • Reading Matters is a registered charity and not-for-profit social enterprise which began in 1997. Since then, the charity has supported tens of thousands of young people.
  • In 2016/17, Reading Matters supported 6,497 children and young people and on average increased reading ages by 13 months in just 10 weeks.
  • The charity runs a range of programmes: Reading Mentors, Reading Leaders, Reading Families and Reading Teams. They provide schools with a resource box of reading materials that will engage and encourage reluctant readers.
  • Reading Matters’ social mission is to help children, young people and adults to reach their potential by becoming confident and enthusiastic readers.

More info:

www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk

and check out the Bookseller article: https://www.thebookseller.com/news/beanstalk-and-reading-matters-merge-664681

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International Literacy Day

Today, 8th September, is International Literacy Day, a day observed by UN member states to internationally recognise the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies, and aims to increase literacy around the world.

You can read more about the aims of this international day here on the UNESCO website: http://en.unesco.org/themes/literacy-all/literacy-day.

This year, the focus is on Digital Literacy, and how the changes in technology and the move towards new digital environments is changing the understanding of what literacy is, and how a lack of digital literacy skills could further marginalise those without basic literacy skills.

To mark this day, some of Atwood Tate have thought back to those books which were formative in helping us learn to read initially; books which are often forgotten but are hugely important first steps.

Andrew Willis

The first  books I can remember reading were The Magic Key series, which followed Biff, Chip and Kipper, created by Roderick Hunt and published by Oxford University Press. As part of the National Curriculum, a whole generation must have learnt to read, thanks in part to The Magic Key.

Alice Crick

I still remember my parents reading the very first Harry Potter books to me as a child. It really instilled the joys of reading in me from an early age.

Claire Louise Kemp

I don’t remember learning to read, but some of the first books I remember loving were books by Beatrix Potter and the Mr Men books.

Helen Speedy

I loved the Usborne Book of Wizards and the Usborne Book of Witches.  The illustrations by the late Stephen Cartwright take me right back to childhood when I look at them now and I’m so pleased to see that they are still in print, even if it’s in a slightly different format.  I also used to spend hours looking through The Usborne First Thousand Words trying to spot the little duck in each picture. My Mum, a German teacher, also bought us a copy of this in German in the hope we’d also become linguists…

 

Atwood Tate support the charity Beanstalk, who do fantastic work providing one-to-one literacy support to children who struggle with their reading ability and confidence.

 

 

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BAME in Publishing: One Year On

We are very pleased to bring you a guest post from Sarah Shaffi and Wei Ming Kam, founders of BAME in Publishing, a group which aims to support and encourage people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in the publishing industry.

Last year, they wrote a blog post for us about why they set up the group and provided some advice for working in the industry, which you can read here.

One year on, they reflect on their experiences of the group, and if anything has changed:

Five things we’ve learnt in a year of BAME in Publishing…

A year ago we set up BAME in Publishing – a networking group for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds working in publishing, or wanting to break into the industry. Here are five things we’ve learnt from running the group.

  • BAME in Publishing fills a gap

When we set up the group, we weren’t sure if anyone was going to be interested, but even a year later we’re still getting new members, and all our meetings are full. It’s shown us that there is a real thirst for a group and a space when BAME people can form relationships, get career advice, and feel like they belong.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help/favours

We’ve turned to a lot of different people for help with various things and have been surprised how many want to support us in any way they can. We’ve been offered venues to host meet ups from publishers and bookshops, and it’s been heartening to know that much of the industry supports the work we do.

  • There are BAME people in the industry

Sometimes it feels like there are hardly any people from BAME backgrounds working in publishing, but running BAME in Publishing we’ve seen that this isn’t true. Our members come from all kinds of companies – big, small, trade, academic, publishers, agencies and so one. BAME talent is out there, which is encouraging, however…

  • There is a long way to go

It’s clear from our membership that a lot of the BAME talent are in junior positions. There are definitely some great senior role models out there (Ailah Ahmed from Virago, Natalie Jerome and Perminder Mann at Kings Road Publishing to name a few), but more needs to be done to make sure junior staff rise up the ranks quickly so that they can affect real change when it comes to the ethnic diversity of the industry. However, we do think that…

  • The future is bright

One thing we see at meeting after meeting is that there are so many talented people coming into publishing who want to make a difference, publish brilliant books, and be the leaders of tomorrow. We have no doubt that today’s bright young things will be heading up tomorrow’s publishing houses.

Wei Ming Kam and Sarah Shaffi at the BAME in Publishing 1st Birthday Party

Sarah Shaffi is online editor and producer at The Bookseller and tweets @sarahshaffi . Wei Ming Kam is sales and marketing executive at Oberon Books and tweets @weimingkam.

For more on BAME in Publishing, visit bameinpublishing.tumblr.com. You can also check out the #BAMEinPublishing hashtag on twitter and follow them on Instagram.

The group meets regularly, mostly in Central London. If you are interested in joining, please email bameinpublishing@gmail.com with your full name, email address, company you work for and your position (if applicable).

BAME in Publishing has been shortlisted for the #HClub100. Vote for them here!

 

 

Atwood Tate Limited embraces diversity and aims to promote the benefits of diversity in all of our business activities. For more information visit our policies page https://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/policies/

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Publishing Innovation Conference 2017: Decoding Diversity

What exactly does diversity mean in the publishing world? Is it solely about equality in gender or race? Can diversity just mean a difference in ideas rather than cultures? Are we any closer to being more representative of the different experiences readers have today than we were a decade ago?

The Publishing Innovation Conference is going to attempt to answer these questions! Organised by the current MA Publishing course at London College of Communication, this conference will encourage an engaging dialogue on the topic of diversity, ranging from issues of race, gender, class, disability and accessibility and how they are being addressed within the industry.

A great topic, and very timely.

Are you going to this event? Let us know!

London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6SB

 

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Beanstalk | Story Starters

Beanstalk Story Starters

Beanstalk | Story Starters

Last month our chosen charity, Beanstalk, received some fantastic news! They were awarded £1million by the DreamFund (People’s Postcode Lottery) for their partnership ‘Story Starters’!

‘Story Starters’ is a collaborative project, which will see Beanstalk working with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and LuCiD at the University of Liverpool. They will be working together to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds, receive one-to-one support and mentoring to develop their language and reading skills!

Beanstalk is a national literacy charity who recruits volunteers to work in primary schools with children to help them develop their reading. Volunteers are specially trained to spend 30 minutes, two times a week, reading with a child one-to-one for a whole year. To help children develop the truly important skill of reading. In 2016 alone Beanstalk helped over 11,000 children across the UK, in deprived areas, and with this funding they can help many more.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a global programme operating worldwide, with more than 1 million children receiving books per month, to help them fall in love with reading. LuCiD is a research collaboration which is researching how children learn to communicate with language.

Beanstalk

The CEO of Beanstalk, Ginny Lunn, and the Beanstalk partners receiving their DreamFund cheque – all rights attributed to Beanstalk

Previous research has shown that support within schools at schools can benefit children throughout their life. 20% are more likely to get 5 A*-C GCSE’s and earn more as adults.

This is a very exciting time for Beanstalk and we couldn’t be more pleased for them. With the £1million funding they will be able to recruit and train a further 600 Story Starter volunteers and help 1,800 children between 3-5 years old to develop their reading!

Beanstalk is a truly worthwhile charity and we’re happy to support them! If you would like to learn more about Beanstalk, and Story Starters make sure you check out there website!

Be sure to check out our previous fundraising challenge for them, and let us know your ideas for the next! You can send us your ideas via social media or commenting on this blog post: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

 

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Companies: Why You Should Consider Temps

Why You Should Consider Temps

Companies: Why You Should Consider Temps

Our articles on temping have typically been to inform candidates of the many benefits that come with temping, both professionally and personally. But today, we’d like to point out the many reasons why temping is such a useful avenue for clients to consider.

  • The flexibility of temps also means company flexibility.

If you’re expanding your team but you’re not quite prepared to hire a permanent person, a temporary employee is a great way to establish exactly what it is you need in terms of additional resources. Maybe you’ve never had extra hands on deck and you’re only now starting to realise the new objectives you can tackle. A temp-to-perm scenario can be a match made in heaven for company and employee alike. As someone grows into a newly created role and reveals the kind of results that can be produced with more staff. The manager can then take these results to HR as Exhibit A on what expanding the team can mean for everyone.

But more than that,

  • Temps bring their own expertise with them.

They don’t need to be entry-level candidates acting as a stop-gap. By hiring consultants or veteran freelancers, a company also gets to avail of a temporary worker’s own experiences, the different business practices they’ve witnessed in their time. New blood often means new ideas and even if the worker doesn’t stick around, their contributions can last forever.

And, of course,

  • Temporary workers can provide much needed breathing space to permanent employees.

When the day-to-day administration is taken off their hands, they’re able to concentrate on the bigger picture and implement the projects. This improve service and streamline practices. You can get a lot done when you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Even if it’s only for a little while.

So, for anyone who’s currently reviewing team numbers or work-loads, don’t commit until you know for sure exactly what you need – try a temp today! Get in touch with Kellie Millar, who manages our Temps and Freelancers desk, or her colleague, Alison Redfearn, and they can send you more workers than you can shake a stick at!

5 reasons to get a temp:

  • Cover sick leave
  • Cover holiday
  • Help with a project
  • Flexibility – have for 1 day / 1 week / 1 month…
  • No admin – we cover all payment, NI, holiday pay, pension

Kellie Millar
E: kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk
Tel: 02070347897

Alison Redfearn
E: alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk
Tel: 02070347922

You can also contact us with any questions via our social media pages: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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