CILIP's action plan to combat inequality by 2020

CILIP's action plan to combat inequality by 2020

CILIP has made a number of pledges to overcome inequality in the library and information sector by 2020 in an action plan.

The membership body's pedges include committing to positive action when recruiting for its Board, undertaking targeted marketing to improve the diversity of its membership, and investigating the diversity of its keynote speakers and panels.

The 44-point plan also seeks to address inequality in the sector after research with the Archives and Records Association (ARA) identified that there was a "clear" gender pay gap, lack of ethnic diversity and high barriers to entry in the library and information profession.

The body has promised to launch an independent review into how equality, diversity, inclusion and participation can best be championed and embedded into the work of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. The launch of the review was accelerated following the controversial annoucement of the 2017 Carnegie Medal longlist, which did not include a single black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) writer.

Commitments from CILIP published in the plan include holding an annual equalities and diversity staff development day and undertaking targeted marketing to improve the diversity of its membership.

Further, the organisation has pledged to ensure that all sector awards and recognitions in the CILIP “family” proactively promote and celebrate diversity, actively solicit nominations from a diverse field and are conducted with appropriate awareness of the risk of conscious and unconscious bias. The organisation also intends to formulate a clear policy on diversity and representation in events organised by CILIP, including chairs, keynotes, speakers and panels.

In the short term CILIP will work with its existing partners to improve its awareness and understanding of issues relating to diversity, identity, equalities and inclusion, and in the longer-term the organisation will "actively seek" to develop new partnerships with organisations that are acknowledged for their practice in equalities, diversity and inclusion and learn from their best practices.

Nick Poole, CILIP chief executive, said the body was "realistic" in its attempts to combat longer-term issues. “As a professional body and a sector we are committed to championing equalities and diversity through all our work", he said. "The plan puts this commitment into action. We are realistic that there are long-standing issues. I’m looking forward to working in partnership to create a more open, representative and inclusive profession and professional body.”

Dawn Finch, member of the CILIP presidential team, said: “To provide the best services the workforce should reflect society. From children’s librarians working to information professionals across government and the private sector we need to make sure we are in the best position to understand and meet our customers’ needs.

“We firmly believe that women and men should have the same opportunities and receive the same pay for the same job. And as a workforce we should reflect the society we serve.”