The Bookseller – News – Bonnier Books UK introduces equal family leave and other initiatives as gender pay gap widens 


Bonnier Books UK has announced a range of inclusion initiatives, including equal family leave, as new figures showed the ethnic pay gap remained broadly unchanged, while the median gender pay gap widened to 32.5% from 10.4% in 2019/2020 increased in 2020/2021.

Beginning in January 2023, new parents who have worked at the publisher for more than two years will receive six months of full pay, while the 2022 Inclusion and Representation Action Plan also outlines plans to partner with schools to launch a work experience program to support undergraduates 16 to 18 years from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

Chief Executive Officer Perminder Mann said: “I have balanced family and work demands throughout my career so I know how challenging it can be. Since I became Chief Executive Officer three years ago, Bonnier Books UK has been on the journey to becoming a more inclusive employer and I am so proud that we are now offering six months of paid family leave to new parents.

“Creating a culture that supports equal parenting roles is critical if we are to create a truly equitable workplace where everyone can thrive.”

Research conducted for the report revealed that Bonnier Books UK has an average hourly wage gap – something it is not legally required to disclose as it has fewer than 250 employees (the legal benchmark) in each of its respective entities, Kings Road Publishing and Igloo , are books – saw an increase from 10.4% in 2019/2020 to 32.5% in 2020/2021. However, the average gender pay gap narrowed from 21.9% in 2019/2020 to 19.1%.

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To calculate the median wage gap, the wage rates of all workers are added and divided by the total number of workers, compared to the median wage gap obtained by finding the midpoint of all workers’ hourly wages and discarding the lowest and highest wages, or “outliers”.

HR director Anna MacLaren May explained that the median gap is partly due to a higher proportion of men in the top two salary quartiles compared to women; The proportion of women in the top two quartiles has decreased slightly, while the proportion of men in the top two quartiles has increased since the last data collection.

“We continue to ensure that men and women in all comparable positions are paid fairly, consistently and equally. However, we found that the main drivers of the gender pay gap are structural,” she said.

“One challenge for us as an employer, for example, is to attract more women to our operational positions and to encourage more male candidates to apply for our junior publisher positions.

“By examining the data, we can see that the company’s operational roles are more likely to be held by men, and that most of those roles fall into the top two quartiles, where we have a higher proportion of male employees.”

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MacLaren went on to say that it is “important to recognize” that the size of the company and the number of positions are significant factors in gender pay gap results. “Even a very small number of employees leaving the company can impact the gender pay gap and cause the results to indicate pay inequality,” she said.

The company also found that overall the ethnic composition of the workforce has changed little from the 2020 results and is consistent with the UK population, but that there are signs of progress Fewer job applicants than current employees identifying as White British (77% of employees, 54% of candidates). This is based on a survey conducted by 57% of employees, so offers “partial view only”.

In addition, a survey of 24% of Bonnier Books UK authors and illustrators featured one 8% increase in multi-ethnic representation in publishers’ lists to 17%, implying greater representation of British society (14%). It said ongoing reporting and monitoring will show to what extent these results are part of an ongoing trend toward greater ethnic representation on publication lists and that the small sample size does not paint the full picture.

As part of its action plan, Bonnier Books UK will also launch an interview monitoring programme, expand inclusion and equality awareness training for staff and relaunch the careers pages of its website.

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For its authors, the publisher is committed to providing practical support and encouragement to emerging women novelists of all ages and backgrounds from across the UK and Ireland as Royal Circle Patrons of the Women’s Prize for Fiction’s Discovery Program and to relaunching the Wilbur Smith Unpublished Prize, among other activities .

It has also announced that it will be releasing its from now on inclusion and representation report every three years. The current report is the second of its kind after a first report was published last year.

Since then, the organization has introduced initiatives including the creation of a miscarriage policy in consultation with the charity Tommy’s, higher salary levels for interns and higher minimum salaries for junior positions, and equality awareness training for all, including additional training for hiring managers.

Mann said, “It’s been fantastic to see the positive feedback from our writers, illustrators and collaborators on this action plan. However, it has also become clear that they – rightly and above all – value concrete, tangible action.

“We believe this is the best way to ensure we continue to track our progress across all areas while prioritizing our time and resources to drive meaningful change.”



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