HarperCollins will run a graduate scheme exclusively for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) candidates in a bid to diversify its talent pool.
John Athanasiou, director of people at HarperCollins, revealed the new programme in a session about diversity at the London Book Fair yesterday (13th April). The scheme will launch in May, with graduates expected to join the company in October.
Charlie Redmayne, c.e.o. of HarperCollins, explained HarperCollins’ attitudes towards diversity to The Bookseller Daily at London Book Fair: “One of the things I have seen, and it was demonstrated to me very ably [is that] we all have an inherent bias. A lot of people believe in diversity but practice sameness, because we feel that actually we are more comfortable with people like us. What I’ve asked of the business, is [that] when we are employing people, if we end up with two candidates who we think are pretty much as good as each other, if one of them comes from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background, then we should choose them - because if you discount the inherent bias that everyone has, they’re probably better.”
He added: “It’s a big and important part of what we’re doing as a business.”