Our Commitments in Action

commitment-preview-image

Our Approach to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

WorldWide
Commitments

Our Approach to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

As Penguin Random House, we hold a collective belief in ensuring that diverse voices are elevated and heard. And we can and must do better. We must give a platform to an even broader range of voices, especially more authors and illustrators of color. Establishing more inclusive business practices—including reflecting the diversity of our world in our staff—is a necessity for us to help build an inclusive society. For us, more diverse publishing is not just a moral imperative.

We hear, and support, the demands for change from our colleagues, authors, partners, and readers, and the wider community. These four pillars are guiding our global approach to diversity and inclusion in our business around the world.

Leadership Investment in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Effective leadership is at the core of systemic change and we are committed to investing in that change through unconscious bias, antiracism, and inclusivity training. We acknowledge that leaders need to take more proactive ownership of our efforts in order to relieve the burden on employees from marginalized groups and junior employees.

Diversity & Representation. While we have a globally diverse workforce, we are committed to making our employee population even more representative of our society. We will increase the number of books we publish—and promote, market, and sell—by people of color.

Career Growth. We believe that diversity, equity and inclusion are crucial to the development of all employees. Our Human Resources teams have created tools to help employees have more purposeful conversations with their managers about career advancement. We are actively making advancements to increase the clarity and consistency regarding opportunities for career and compensation development in order to ensure that employees are prepared, supported, and well situated in how to advocate for their career path.

Psychological Safety and Belonging. We understand that it is important to assure that employees are able to authentically express all aspects of their identities in the workplace, and that managers play a key role in this process. We seek to create a more psychologically safe, inclusive environment that allows employees to bring their full selves to work and voice their ideas and opinions freely and without fear.

These four pillars are the guiding principles by which Penguin Random House will foster a more diverse, equitable and inclusive company culture. Like our publishing, we locally implement our global diversity and inclusion position. On this page, you will find a selection of the programs and initiatives that are underway in support of these overarching pillars.

U.S.

Sponsor

OF THE BLACK CREATIVES FUND


Penguin Random House U.S. expanded its partnership with We Need Diverse Books to create the Black Creatives Fund, which will encourage and amplify the work of Black writers who are seeking publication, to bring more Black voices and stories to the world.
commitment-preview-image

Supporting Indigenous Future Professionals

CANADA
Commitments


Supporting Indigenous Future Professionals

In Canada, we committed to a multi-year sponsorship of Simon Fraser University’s Greg Younging Scholarship for an Indigenous student in the Masters of Publishing program at SFU. The scholarship aims to help eliminate the barriers Indigenous people face to entering and flourishing in the Canadian publishing industry, work that is fundamental to our commitment to building racial equity. 

commitment-preview-image

Moving Toward Equity Training

U.S.
Commitments

Moving Toward Equity Training

In the U.S., we launched our first ever companywide DE&I training effort, Moving Toward Equity, in June 2022 in partnership with consulting and professional development firm True North EDI. The training is focused on incorporating equity, or the promotion of impartiality and fairness within PRH’s policies and procedures. Through the program, we aim to tackle inequity of all kinds through a structural lens as we continue our work to create a truly equitable workplace.

commitment-preview-image

Next Editors Programme

U.K.
Commitments

Next Editors Programme

In December 2021 we launched the Next Editors Programme in the U.K., a new 18 month-long positive action traineeship that offers talent from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to develop key skills and expertise required for a role as a Commissioning Editor at a book publisher. We offered four traineeships, each of which takes place in one of four editorial teams within our publishing houses. Applicants needed three years’ work experience from any industry or role to apply. Our trainees are now in place and are following a bespoke training and development plan that includes workshops, mentoring, and on-the-job learning.

commitment-preview-image

Lit in Colour

U.K.
Commitments

Lit in Colour

In the U.K., we founded Lit in Colour, a program created in partnership with think tank The Runnymede Trust, that supports schools in diversifying their English literature curriculum. In June 2021, the campaign released ground-breaking research showing that less than 1% of young people in England study a book by a writer of color, and just 7% study a book by a woman. Through the program pilot, nearly 12,000 students at 90 different schools started studying a book by a writer of color at either GCSE or A Level for the first time. We will be running a second year of the program in September 2022. 

commitment-preview-image

Uplifting Asian American Pacific Islander Stories

U.S.
Commitments


Uplifting Asian American Pacific Islander Stories

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May 2021,  we announced the launch of Uplift AAPI Stories. Expanding on last year’s #ReadAsianAuthors initiative, we’re inviting readers to uplift AAPI stories and #ReadAsianAuthors. This initiative aims to celebrate and uplift the stories of our AAPI authors, and we partnered with AAPI influencers across social media platforms to reach as many diverse readers as possible. 

To continue our support of the AAPI community, we donated 15% of net proceeds from PRH.com sales in the month of May to Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, an organization “fighting for civil rights and empowering Asian Americans to create a more just America for all.”  We have previously worked with AAJC, as well as Stop AAPI Hate, with donations made to both organizations earlier this year. We also partnered with non-profit writing organization Kundiman by sponsoring an eight-week creative writing workshop, giving twelve AAPI writers the opportunity to attend free of charge. Internally, we hosted a bystander intervention training with Hollaback! for employees, in addition to a Q&A featuring the President & Executive Director of AAJC, John Yang.

commitment-preview-image

Amplifying Diverse Voices in the Audiobook Community

U.S.
Commitments

Amplifying Diverse Voices in the Audiobook Community

Penguin Random House Audio spearheaded the new bi-annual Audio Narrator Mentorship program to discover a diverse range of new talent and help actors new to audiobook narration polish their craft and learn about the industry. The inclusive program was designed to reflect the diversity we see in the world daily in the audio space by giving actors in underrepresented communities an opportunity to break into the audiobook world. 

From the 1,680 applications, the six month program welcomed its 15 mentees. The cohort actors from around the world, including the U.S. and U.K., Canada and Singapore, nine of whom have already been hired to narrate audiobooks for Penguin Random House Audio before the program has concluded.

commitment-preview-image

Launching a New Donation Platform for the 1619 Project

U.S.
Commitments


Launching a New Donation Platform for the 1619 Project

Ahead of the publication of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story on November 16, 2021, One World, an imprint of Random House, partnered with Bookshop.org, the ethical online marketplace which supports independent bookstores. The expanded book version of the 1619 Project – one of the most significant journalistic events of recent years by Nikole Hannah-Jones that places slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative – provides readers with the definitive account of how racism and Black resistance have shaped the nation. 

Independent bookstores across the U.S. have identified local organizations such as schools, libraries, and book banks that will benefit from donated copies of this momentous book.Through Bookshop.org, customers can support local bookstores and communities directly, as well as through We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization that distributes books to low-income classrooms, educators, and organizations across the country. Over 15 percent of the participating independent bookstores are Black-owned and managed, with many playing a significant role in their local communities. This partnership will allow them to continue supporting their communities by making the stories of The 1619 Project widely accessible. The initiative runs through January 31, 2022.

For more information on The 1619 Project and Nikole Hannah-Jones, visit 1619Books.com

commitment-preview-image

Partnering with #DisruptTexts

U.S.
Commitments

Commitments

Commitments

Commitments

Commitments


Partnering with #DisruptTexts

Penguin Classics has partnered with #DisruptTexts, a renowned education organization that works to create a more inclusive, representative and equitable language arts curriculum for K-12 students. Facilitated by Penguin Random House (PRH) Education, this partnership includes a number of new initiatives focused on connecting with, and supporting, educators through innovative programming; online events for vital dialogue and teacher community discussion; and new educator resources for guiding student reading and discussion of traditional and “new” classics in-and-out of the classroom.  

Initiatives and resources include: original educator guides authored by the #DisruptTexts team, to be made available as free, downloadable educator resources on PRHSecondaryED.com; a virtual educator event to be hosted by the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE); an online discussion panel to be hosted by publisher Penguin Classics featuring Min Jin Lee, author of the novel Pachinko; and a number of other collaborative programming and resource-based initiatives in development. Each of these initiatives will revolve around the essential question “what is a classic?” in order to broaden the scope of which texts are considered traditional literary canon.

The aforementioned educator guides will be for four Penguin Classics texts that have been overlooked in secondary classrooms that are representative of BIPOC communities, including: Passing by Nella Larsen; Monkey King by Wu Cheng’en; Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko; and The Penguin Book of Migration Literature edited by Dohra Ahmad.


See More


Freedom of Expression Week


Beach Cleanup with Waterway Advocates


Stocking Classroom Shelves with Jays Care

contact-us
contact-us
GET IN TOUCH

We want to hear from you!

CONTACT US