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2017 SSP 39th Annual Meeting

Concurrent 2E: Toward a Diverse Workforce in Scholarly Publishing…

Stakeholder Voices
Concurrent 2E: Toward a Diverse Workforce in Scholarly Publishing: Stategies, Tactics and Lessons Learned

The 2016 Publisher’s Weekly salary survey cites little progress on diversity issues. The US publishing industry remains overwhelmingly white/Caucasian in its staffing, with 94% of male respondents identifying as white, and 86% of female respondents saying the same. This session will include publishing professionals willing to share their own experience as recruiters or recruitees with diversity initiatives, to report on progress and obstacles. What has worked, what has not, and what can we do to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce? Why should we do this and what resistance will we encounter? Is it even possible to recruit for diversity in a way that is consistent with employment laws, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, gender, and sexual orientation? Why do ordinary recruiting efforts fail to produce candidates from more diverse backgrounds? Diversity initiatives discussed by the panelists will include the Mellon funded University Press Diversity Fellowship program, and the We Need Diverse Books campaign.

Moderator: Rebecca McLeod, Copyright Clearance Center


Jesus Hernandez, MIT Press
Jesus J. Hernandez received his BA in Ethnic Studies from Brown University and his PhD from the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He held two Visiting Assistant Professorships at Williams College and Mount Holyoke College where his scholarly interests were in the areas of American/ Ethnic Studies, Latina/o Studies, Literary Studies, Diaspora Studies, and Queer Theory. For the last year he has worked as an Acquisitions Assistant and the inaugural Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow at the MIT Press.
Charles Brandquist, Oxford University Press
Charles Brandquist is the US Head of Talent Acquisition for Oxford University Press while reasonably new to Publishing, he has been in Talent Acquisition for large global investment banks for the past 20 years. Charles has led the deployment of roles in India, Switzerland, UK, and within the US for New York, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Each role encompassed Talent Acquisition strategy at all levels and for all functions, always with a keen eye on ensuring Diversity Initiatives were fully incorporated within the strategy.
Helen Atwan, Beacon Press
Helene Atwan has been director of Beacon Press since October 1995. She holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia. She began her career in publishing at Random House in 1976, and has worked at Alfred A. Knopf, Viking Press; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; and Simon and Schuster. Her acquisitions at Beacon include Gayl Jones’s The Healing, a National Book Award Finalist, Danielle Ofri’s Singular Intimacies, Rashid Khalidi’s Resurrecting Empire and The Iron Cage, Richard Blanco’s For All of Us, One Today, Cornel West’s Black Prophetic Fire, and Anita Hill’s Reimagining Equality, as well as books by Bill Ayers and Lauren Slater, and ten volumes of poetry by Pulitzer-prize winner Mary Oliver. She served for eight years on the board of PEN-New England and is the Administrator of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award.
Gita Manaktala, The MIT Press
Gita Manaktala is the Editorial Director of the MIT Press, a publisher of scholarship at the intersection of the arts, science, and technology. Known for their intellectual daring, scholarly standards, and distinctive design, MIT Press books push the frontiers of new knowledge in fields ranging from contemporary art and architecture to the life sciences, computing, economics, philosophy, cognitive science, environmental studies, linguistics, new media studies, and STS. Gita’s own acquisitions are in the areas of information science and communication. Until 2009, she served as the press’s Marketing Director with responsibility for worldwide promotion and sales of the Press’s titles. In this role, she helped to develop CISnet, an online collection of the Press’s computer and information science titles (now on the IEEE Explore platform), and Ebooks at the MIT Press, an online bookstore. She is an active member of the Association of American University Presses and a frequent speaker on scholarly publishing and communication topics.