IPA Blog

Michiel Kolman

Gender and Ethnicity in Textbooks: systematic underrepresentation of female and minority characters in Dutch textbooks.

Diversity & Inclusion in the publishing industry is not only relevant for the workforce in our industry (see my previous blog on key surveys measuring exactly that), but also for what we publish. Important questions that arise are the representation of women and minorities in books. Prof. Judi Mesman of Leiden University in the N
It has been impressive to see how fast our industry has responded to the challenges presented by COVID-19. While many publishers are busy trying to keep their businesses running, it would be easy to dismiss diversity and inclusion (D&I) as just another aspect to address when times are better. However there are compelling arguments to put D&I high on the agenda before, during and after the pandemic.
Two weeks into the COVID-19 (née coronavirus) pandemic and its attendant doldrums, I noticed some A-list singers were performing via Instagram from the discomfort of their homes. Chris Martin and John Legend were among the first to sign up to the One World: Together At Home initiative in mid-March, and more followed until it became the 100-artist global streaming event, dubbed the ‘Living Room Live Aid’, on 18 April.   
Close scrutiny showed a more complex but also more positive answer for both the UK and US.
As we start a new decade, the subject of diversity remains firmly on the radar for most businesses and industries in 2020. This is also true for our own publishing industry as we continue to see how issues around diversity and inclusion, such as women representation in senior management, impact the way publishers operate. I believe our industry has always been a place that fosters creativity giving a platform to diverse voices. However, the question for most is where are we in terms of diversity and are we going in the right direction?
IPA D&I envoy, Michiel Kolman interviews Elsevier’s Simon Holt and Springer Nature’s Kirsty Bone about their experiences of having a disability and working in the publishing industry. This is a long but fascinating read.
October and the first days of November were again very busy, with visits to four different countries and three book fairs in the course of three weeks.
SCCR 39 concluded this evening with an agreement found on how to keep the Exceptions and Limitations discussion moving forward and the other agenda items wrapped up and a possible new issue raised in the chamber.
The second day of discussions on the broadcasting treaty were mainly conducted behind closed doors with the plenary chamber finally filling at 17:40 for a presentation of conclusions.
Today’s discussions saw the focus shift from Exceptions and Limitations to the Broadcasting Treaty (and sadly not about all of the value generated by the copyright in an original work that migrates from being a book to a film, for example). The Exceptions and Limitations discussions are not over, by any stretch of the imagination, and they continue to rumble behind closed doors.
The first day closed with Dr Kenneth Crews waiting to be grilled by delegates and observers. He was given the opportunity this morning, but the highlights today were the side events and the ripples from some late-night messages to delegates.

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