An update on HBG’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts (April 10, 2024)

An update on HBG’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts (April 10, 2024)

Hachette Book Group shared its fifth annual report on HBG’s progress in diversity, equity and inclusion.  

CEO David Shelley said, “HBG’s mission is to make it easy for everyone to discover new worlds of ideas, learning, entertainment, and opportunity. Changing the Story is a key strategic pillar supporting this mission, and it aims to align our publishing and organization with the diverse perspectives of the readers we serve; it is imperative that we publish for all, especially those historically underserved by the industry. Through superb leadership by Chief Diversity Officer Carrie Bloxson and collective effort across HBG, we made progress in 2023 and I’m proud of this growth. There is still a long journey ahead for our business but HBG’s commitment to this work is unwavering. We will do everything possible to realize this vision.”

VP and Chief Diversity Officer Carrie Bloxson, added, “In 2020, HBG committed to openly reporting on our efforts to address the critical diversity gap within our staff and publishing programs. Our annual reporting reflects our dedication and transparency in this mission. Enhancing representation in HBG’s leadership, workplaces, and publishing initiatives is paramount to fulfilling our Changing the Story goal of creating inclusive publishing that resonates with all readers and accurately reflects our diverse society. We remain deeply dedicated to this work as ever.”

Highlights: Staff, Career Advancement, and Publishing

  1. Over the past decade, diversity at HBG has increased every year, with the percentage of BIPOC employees increasing from 20.7% of our overall population in 2012 to 36.8% in 2023, a growth of 78%.  
  2. More than 54% of our new hires in 2023 identify as BIPOC*.
  3. Despite a drop in overall headcount in 2023, BIPOC employee representation remained relatively flat across our publishing divisions and across various levels, but held steady or grew in all central departments.  
  4. Overall staff diversity increased by 1%, to 37% of our employees in 2023. By comparison, the Lee & Low 2023 industry survey showed 27.5% BIPOC representation among 200 participating publishers, and the most recent (2020) US Census shows 42% BIPOC representation.
  5. From 2019 to 2023, the percentage of books acquired from BIPOC creators new to HBG increased by 45%, to 32% of those acquisitions.  There was an increase of 10% in that metric from 2022 to 2023. The percentage of books acquired from all creators, including returning BIPOC authors and illustrators, increased by 30% between 2019 and 2023, to 26% of all acquisitions; year on year that overall total increased by 18%.    

*BIPOC = Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color


  • While diversity at HBG grew slightly overall, at the VP, Director, and Manager levels it decreased by 1%. The HR team is hiring a recruitment manager who will focus on recruitment in communities with diverse representation to help us attract diverse candidates at all levels, with particular focus on senior hires.

Recruitment and Hiring 

  • 54% of our new hires in 2023 identify as BIPOC, compared to 61% in 2022, and 54% in 2021.  
  • We increased the frequency of training for hiring managers that promotes inclusivity and eliminates bias.
  • We continue to identify new DEI focused job boards to promote open positions across levels and job functions, allowing us to advertise positions broadly to attract a diverse candidate pool. We have also continued to grow our HBG Careers Instagram.
  • HBG’s Summer 2023 Intern class was 77% BIPOC, and offered all interns resumé and professional development workshops, a comprehensive publishing curriculum, and mentorship opportunities.  
  • We partnered with Apex for Youth, We Need Diverse Books, the Association of American Publishers (and their program with United Negro College Fund), and City College of New York’s Publishing Certificate Program to open up internship opportunities to their constituencies.

Culture and Retention 

We provided Diversity & Inclusion Training to all office employees.  

  • We continued training in 2023 with our DEI Learning Session series hosted by HBG and led by experts on topics such as neurodiversity, religious diversity, psychological safety, allyship, and mental health.


In 2023, acquisitions of books from BIPOC authors and illustrators increased by 18%; acquisitions of books by BIPOC creators new to HBG increased 10%.

  • From 2019 to 2023, the percentage of books acquired from BIPOC creators new to HBG has increased by 45%, to 32% of those acquisitions.  In 2023 we saw 10% growth in acquisitions of books by BIPOC authors and illustrators new to HBG, compared to prior year.     
  • The percentage of books acquired from all authors and illustrators, including returning BIPOC authors, increased by 30% between 2019 and 2023, to 26% of all acquisitions, while year on year that overall total increased by 18%.    
  • Our publishing groups are fully committed not just to expanding the diversity of their publishing programs but also to continuing to improve their capabilities for marketing effectively to diverse audiences.    

Hachette Partnerships  

Our commitment to Changing the Story extends beyond our workplaces and publishing programs to our broader communities of writers, readers, and publishing professionals. Our partner’s goals align with ours – to make publishing more inclusive, more diverse and more accessible for all, while opening publishing up to a far broader array of talents, perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences.  Our aim is to work with each partner to help them drive meaningful impact within their organization and with the support of us at HBG. 

Recent and upcoming highlights:        

In February we had a standing room only (250+ ppl) Lunar New Year event to ring in the new year with our authors, with our new industry partner Kundiman, and the AAPI publishing and reader community.

OutLEADERSHIP is an organization committed to making workspaces more inclusive for LGBTQIA+ identifying employees. Next month, HBG will co-sponsor OutLEADERSHIP’s first and only business summit in history dedicated to the trans community. 

In August HBG will be a key sponsor in supporting the National Book Club Conference, one of the largest conferences in the country for Black book clubs and books clubs of color (this year is NBCC’s 20th anniversary).

We are partnering with Latinx Kidlit Book Festival to fund and support 20 school visits (6 in person, 20 virtual) for this school year featuring HBG authors and illustrators across the US and Puerto Rico. Visits include a free classroom set of books for the participating schools. We are also working with LKBF on their first Latinx Storytellers conference in NYC for hundreds of Latinx children and adult book writers in September.

Later in the Fall we’ll host a networking event with Literary Agents of Change, whose mission is  to dismantle the barriers to entry into a career as a literary agent for members of historically underrepresented groups.

We continued our Associates Program with City College of NY in 2023 and welcomed our second CCNY Fellow to Hachette Book Group, a graduate of their Publishing Certificate Program.

Additional industry initiatives: fighting book bans and protecting freedom of expression

HBG plays an active role in industry campaigns that address book banning and protect freedom of expression through financial donations, via our work with organizations that support marginalized authors and freedom of speech, through social media amplification, and HBG author participation.   

For more information see Social Impact at HBG.