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We aim to be:

  • A diverse company – a company that reflects the societies in which we operate. We want to attract the very best candidates, at all levels, irrespective of race, gender, age, physical ability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital/civil partnership status or any other criteria not specifically related to relevant aptitudes, potential, skills and abilities. We do not set specific numerical targets for recruitment or promotion of particular groups, but we place great emphasis on ensuring that the pool of applicants for our jobs is diverse.
  • A fair company – where pay, retention, promotions and redundancies are determined without discrimination.
  • A company, which uses diversity to help achieve our commercial goals and targets new opportunities in growing markets.

Our goals are to have diversity at the heart of everything we do and to be at least the best in our industry for diversity. When we say ‘diversity’, we mean we have a workforce and client base where differences are valued and respected as an essential part of a successful future at Pearson. To be the best we can be, we need the widest range of minds and imaginations from the widest range of backgrounds right across the company: in every business; in every country; in every job. That’s why diversity within the company is a high priority. And the more global we become the more essential it is that we value, and understand, what makes us different.

Since our 2006 report, we have made progress in the following areas:

  • Measurement: we have developed quarterly reports to executives focusing on key retention and promotion measures in their business. We have benchmarked our programmes against best practices through participation in surveys and studies by Diversity Inc., AARP and Working Mother Media.
  • Preferred suppliers: in the UK, where we handle the majority of our recruitment through agencies, we have set up a preferred supplier list for recruitment agencies and worked with them to encourage more diverse shortlists of candidates. We are now working with a number of specialist executive search firms to help us with the diversity of our mid-career hires.
  • Internships: we have maintained our summer internship programme as a visible commitment to our goals on diversity. In the UK, we have retained ten of twenty-two interns across the company in a variety of temporary and permanent roles across the business. The minority representation in the US internship programmes increased to over 40% in 2007.
  • Recruitment: we continue to focus on recruiting talented candidates from diverse backgrounds by holding open days, attending university careers fairs, working with student societies and university careers services as well as reaching out to professional organisations in major markets to cast the broadest net for talent.
  • Websites: we are continually updating our diversity websites for both internal and external users with news stories from across the business. The website is available at http://diversity.pearson.comExternal site. The Pearson Education careers online site in the US was relaunched with a new focus on diversity and cultural programmes. This site attracted over 71,000 job candidates last year during 2006.
  • Training: we have a solid diversity training programme at induction level for all new employees. We also have specific diversity training models for our HR teams and recruiting line managers. We also have an online resource tool that has a well developed segment of diversity training. The comprehensive package of articles, recommended websites, learning guides and management pocket book has been developed by the Ashridge Business School.
  • Senior leadership profile: our top 100 business leaders are formally measured during the appraisal process, on how they are helping to drive diversity throughout their businesses.
  • Executive compensation: progress in diversity is a component of discretionary pay for the Pearson Management Team reporting directly to Marjorie Scardino.
  • Supplier diversity: we have established a supplier diversity policy, which is currently being disseminated across the business.
  • Commercial achievements:

    Ed Husain, author of The Islamist, has been short-listed for a Decibel award and long-listed for the Orwell Prize.

    Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist won the south bank show award for literature, and was a New York Times notable book of the year. It was also short listed for the Man Booker Prize and the decibel award.

    Wolf Totem, a novel by Chinese author, Jiang Rong, and published by Hamish Hamilton, won the inaugural MAN Asia International Literary Prize in October 2007.

    Gifted, by Nikita Lalwani was shortlisted for the 2007 Glen Dimplex New Writer’s Award and the 2007 Costa Awards.

In the UK and US, we have developed comprehensive listings of Penguin’s black interest titles for the first time as part of moves to make us more responsive to our diverse customers both online and in print. In the UK, 20,000 copies of Penguin celebrates Black History, a booklet listing Penguin’s black interest titles have been distributed to libraries across the UK. The titles have also been added to the newly created Black Interest category on Penguin’s UK website.


Pearson’s diversity efforts have been recognised with a number of awards:

Pearson’s Diversity Summer Internship programme was short- listed under the category ‘Attraction & Recruitment’ for the RFO Chairman’s Awards. It was short-listed as a case study for being a successful recruitment model that encouraged ethnic minorities into the media/ publishing industry.

For the eighth consecutive year Pearson achieved a coveted spot on the Working Mother 100 Best Companies list in the US.

In New York City, Penguin was honoured with the CityKids Foundation Partnership Award.


We now have quarterly reporting in place across Pearson which enables us to track the success of our diversity policies. We report the following data quarterly:

  • The proportion of women and people from diverse backgrounds in management.

  • The proportion of women and people from diverse backgrounds participating in development programmes.

  • The proportion of women and people from diverse backgrounds leaving the organisation.

  • Disability is a key focus, therefore we report on the proportion of our workforce that is disabled.

  • We also report on the age demographic of our workforce.

For more information on diversity at Pearson go to: http://diversity.pearson.comExternal site

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