IPA Blog

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

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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 Netherlands studied this very topic and I asked her a series of questions which resulted in the following blog.

The conclusions are relevant for publishers: ‘do you want to aim for tradition, reflection, or emancipation’? Do we see ourselves reflecting today’s situation of women and minorities, or do we see ourselves as catalysts of change, as inspiration for a society that is more diverse and more inclusive, and that will install a sense of belonging for all, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and the other lenses of Diversity & Inclusion? 

This also links to a broader discussion taking place at the Educational Publishers Forum addressing the value of (educational) publishing. Educational publishers stand for local solutions, i.e. have a local industry that is publishing text books that represent local society - in terms of gender, but also other lenses of D&I (here is a great example from Canada). 

Over to Prof. Mesman:  

 

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Diversity & Inclusion in the times of Corona: more important than ever or a nice-to-have?

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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.

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Behind 'Read The World' – the power of books and storytelling

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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.   

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D&I surveys in publishing: is the UK really doing well while too little changed in the US?

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Close scrutiny showed a more complex but also more positive answer for both the UK and US.

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Stepping in the right direction on diversity

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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?

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Diversity and Inclusion: Disability in the Publishing Industry

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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.

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Notes from the road: four countries and three book fairs

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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.

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WIPO diary SCCR39 (day 5): SCCR 39 Diplomatic offline, ugly online

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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.

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WIPO Diary SCCR39 (Day 4) – Are we still talking TV?

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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.

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WIPO Diary SCCR39 (day 3) – From books to broadcasting

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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.

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WIPO Diary SCCR39 (day 2): Glocalising Digital Education

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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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WIPO Diary SCCR 39 (Day 1): Early Birds and Worms

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While the publishing industry was gathered in Frankfurt last week for the most important international book fair in the world, the action was already starting at WIPO in Geneva with an International Conference on Exceptions and Limitations on Friday and Saturday 18-19 October.

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IPA Regional Seminar, Amman (day 2): More united than divided

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The second and final day of the IPA Regional Seminar in the Middle East was opened by Sharjah publisher Bodour Al Qasimi (Kalimat Group), who is (among other things) also the IPA Vice-President.

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IPA Regional Seminar, Amman (day 1): Digital disruption to humanitarian action

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When the IPA regional seminar in Amman, Jordan, got underway this morning there was a crackle of promise in the air. This was more than a conference opening – it was like the inauguration of a new bridge spanning the space between the IPA’s global membership and the Arab World.

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Notes from the road: to the Andes and back

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Between end of July and early September I had the chance of participating in several important events throughout Latin America. A region full of contrasts, where a wealthy, vigorous parts of society still coexists with undeserving levels of poverty. An assignment still to solve. Every country with a different, rich culture and traditions and enchanting people.

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In Praise of Iran’s Independent Literary Awards

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Every year I read dozens of manuscripts submitted to our publishing house. Unfortunately not all of them are as enjoyable or educating as I expect and only a handful end up published. Beside these books, that I don’t have any control in choosing, I have another ‘to read list’ that I cherry pick from prize shortlists, reviews in magazines and newspapers, friends’ and colleagues’ recommendations, or just authors I love!

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Notes from the road: from Nairobi to Seoul, via Berlin

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What do Kenya, Germany and Korea have in common? There are all members of IPA, and during June I had the unique opportunity to make a two-week trip to all three of them.

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Pride in Diversity: Stonewall at 50

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Diversity and Inclusion comes in many different shapes and colors and this month, Pride month in many countries, the focus will be on LGBTI+, or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex, where the plus denotes all other groups in an overall inclusive approach to sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Inclusion & Diversity: An interview with Stephen Lotinga, CEO, Publishers Association (UK)

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Arguably a forerunner in making progress on the topic of inclusion and diversity, the UK Publishers Association began their journey with a landmark report on the diversity of the UK publishing industry in 2017. They have just released their findings from a follow up report, and I caught up with their CEO Stephen Lotinga during the London Book Fair to find out more.

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EU copyright modernised: Was it easy?

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558 days after it was proposed by the European Commission on 15 September 2016, the Members of the European Parliament adopted on Tuesday 26 March, the compromise text on copyright in the digital single market (the market we all share as Europeans thanks to freedom of circulation of goods, services and persons). And then, 20 days later, that text was passed by the Council and became EU law with a two-year deadline for EU Member States to incorporate it into their national legislations.

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