How do publishing staff really feel about creating inclusive content?

In my time working in children’s publishing, both from my own personal experience and with people I’ve worked with as a consultant, I’ve noticed that a fear of getting it wrong and not fully being aware of or understanding the basic principles of inclusion leads to a burden of responsibility and inhibited creativity in content creation teams.

But is this anecdotal or a pattern in the industry? And what impact does it have?

As a pretty liberal industry, is there a sense that staff should already know how to make books inclusive? And does this assumption hold them back from asking questions and having difficult conversations? What part does unconscious bias play in how inclusion is approached?

With the launch of the revised Publishers Association Inclusivity Action Plan, which now includes commitments around inclusive content and training, it’s important that publishers understand how well-equipped staff feel to create this content, and what kind of training appears to be most effective.

Additionally, more publishers are commissioning DEI and authenticity reviews or backlist and forthcoming publications, but how well-equipped are staff to interpret and implement that feedback?

Most importantly, how can we support staff to work through challenges to ensure that inclusion is naturally embedded in children’s and educational books?

I'm a firm believer that we don't know what we don't know, so to find out more about the behaviour trends in the publishing industry, the assumptions, predictions, and actions being taken towards achieving better diversity equity and inclusion, I'm casting out a net to capture as much data and detail as I can.

To find out what I find out, share your email address and receive the results of my research, hot off the press...

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