HarperCollins' diversity forum HC All In and non-fiction publisher Natalie Jerome were honoured at Business in the Community’s Race Equality Awards last night (11th October).
The awards took place at London’s Hilton Park Lane hotel, with other nominees including American Express, Deloitte, Teach First and the Ministry of Defence. HarperCollins went into the awards as the most nominated company on the shortlist.
HC All In forum which launched in autumn 2014, scooped the Employee Network category award. The forum was launched with the goal of implementing "real and lasting change" within HarperCollins and the publishing industry as a whole. The forum intends to help increase diversity and inclusion, with a particular focus on content and workforce, including enlisting a more inclusive pool of authors, illustrators and suppliers and engaging a broader readership. Currently with over 60 members, HC All In has rewritten briefs to freelancers to include diversity in their content, advised on diversity in cover design and image library content.
HarperCollins director of people John Athanasiou said: “Real change in an organisation and industry comes not only from the leadership team but also at a grass-roots level. I’m delighted that our industry-leading HC All In diversity forum has got this hugely deserved recognition. Its members are incredibly passionate about furthering the cause for diversity and inclusion in a tangible way, and they’ve been very influential in putting HarperCollins at the forefront of our industry’s work in this area.”
In the Champion and Executive Sponsor award category, Jerome, HarperCollins' non-fiction publisher, was highly commended for her work with BAME charity Creative Access. Since 2012, HarperCollins has taken on 12 Creative Access interns, and Jerome has helped a number of trainees secure permanent positions within HarperCollins and elsewhere. HarperCollins also launched its own traineeship scheme targeted at BAME graduates in June 2016.
Athanasiou added: “I believe that HarperCollins is leading the way on diversity and inclusion in the publishing industry, and we owe a great deal to Natalie for pushing the business case for a more diverse workplace up the agenda. She is an inspiration to all BAME candidates looking to get into publishing, and I am delighted that she has been highly commended.”
Candice Carty-Williams (formerly of 4th Estate) was also nominated in the Role Models in the Workplace award for her work on 4th Estate’s Guardian-supported BAME Short Story Prize.