Baroness Lola Young has been appointed as a non-executive director of Bloomsbury.
She will sit on the Nomination Committee of the board, which has oversight of the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy, and will advise the company on its inclusion initiatives, seeking to widen access to the publishing industry for both staff and authors.
Young is a former actor, professor of cultural studies at Middlesex University, and head of culture at the Greater London Authority. She has written and broadcast extensively on a wide range of cultural issues, mainly on the subject of diversity and culture in the arts and creative industries sector.
She has served on the boards of several national cultural organisations including the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre, as well serving as a commissioner for Historic England. Young has chaired the Caine Prize for African Writing, the Orange Prize for Women’s Fiction, and the Man Booker Prize, and has recently been appointed chair of the judging panel of the Ondaatje Prize for Writing.
Recognised for her work on equality and diversity in the heritage sector with the award of an OBE in 2001, Young was appointed an independent cross-bench member of the House of Lords in 2004. She is known for her contribution to creating legislation to eliminate modern slavery, and co-chairs all-party parliamentary groups on ethics and sustainability in fashion, and sport, modern slavery and human rights. Recently elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Society for Literature, Young is also co-chair of independent charity Foundation for Future London, and chancellor of the University of Nottingham.
Commenting on Young's appointment, Nigel Newton, chief executive officer of Bloomsbury, said: “I am delighted to welcome Lola Young to the board of directors of Bloomsbury. I first met her when she was the chair of the judges of The Man Booker Prize in 2017 and became aware then of her extensive work on social issues in the House of Lords, as an academic, and in literary matters through her roles as chair of both The Orange Prize and The Booker Prize. This rich experience makes her the perfect appointment to the board of Bloomsbury because we are convinced that increased focus on social issues will help support our publishing and financial goals. I look forward very much to working with her.”
Young said: "Inspirational, challenging, cheering, exciting writing is always in demand. Perhaps this is especially true during difficult times such as we continue to experience as a result of the pandemic. I am delighted to have been asked to join Bloomsbury Publishing as a non-executive director and I look forward to working with colleagues to achieve the aims of this publishing house, particularly with regard to Bloomsbury’s commitment to increasing diversity across the company."