Advancing Inclusion and Eliminating Barriers to the Profession of Publishing

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Advancing Inclusion and Eliminating Barriers to the Profession of Publishing

Diversity and Inclusion: Disability in the Publishing Industry Nicole Zamudio-Román, George Washington University

Intersectional Inclusion, A FLI-Centered Approach to Diversifying Internships Davida Breier and Diem Bloom, Johns Hopkins University Press

GW Ethics in Publishing Conference 2021

Diversity and Inclusion: Disability in the Publishing Industry Porter Anderson, in Publishing Perspective, frames the data of the 2015 Lee & Low Diversity in Publishing survey as “Diversity is Not Created Equal.” Only 8% identified as disabled. In Lee &Low’s 2019 Diversity in Publishing survey, 11% of employees identified as being disabled/chronologically ill/neuro divergent. Yet “the common advice for those who pursuing careers in publishing who can't work in an office or can't afford to move for a job is to freelance” (Publishing Perspectives); and disabled/chronically ill/neurodivergent people are “more likely to be self-employed than non-disabled people” (Publisher's Weekly). The challenges of freelance careers, however, can include long hours, uncertain income streams, and lack of employer-provided health insurance. Will remote, work-from-home policies, on the rise as one effect of the pandemic, increase opportunities for disabled/chronically ill/neurodivergent people? How can the publishing industry work to improve the way it values its disabled and marginalized staff?

Nicole M. Zamudio-Román is a graduate student at GW's MPS in Publishing program. She has worked in various jobs in publishing from acquisitions editor to typesetter to social media marketing coordinator. Her publishing passions include promoting diversity in the workplace and in literature (particularly Latinx, disabled, and BIPOC voices). She hopes to one day teach publishing at the scholarly level. Intersectional Inclusion: A FLI-Centered Approach to Diversifying Internship Publishing’s diversity issues are as class-based as they are race-based. A tradition of unpaid internships, education requirements, and network preferences have created barriers to entry that reinforce a closed ecosystem. Drawing on their own experiences as first-generation and low-income (FLI) students who were never able to intern, Diem Bloom and Davida Breier are developing a new publishing internship program as part of Johns Hopkins University Press’s strategic Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (EJI) initiative. This intersectional approach, focusing on FLI students, seeks to structure a program that intentionally identifies and then tries to eliminate barriers to participation. The program is also being designed to provide leadership and development opportunities for staff to support and nurture the diversity that already exists in the industry. This presentation will share information about the approach, collected data, and lessons learned.

Diem Bloom joined Johns Hopkins University Press in 2021 as the Director of Publishing Operations. In this role she oversees the Design, Manuscript Editorial, and Production departments for the Books division. She has extensive industry experience and has worked for publishers in the US, including Oxford University Press, Wolters Kluwer, Simon & Schuster, and the Modern Language Association, as well as for Newgen, a publishing services supplier in India. Diem received her BA in English from Dartmouth College.

Davida Breier is the Co-director of Marketing and Sales (Books division) and the Director of Hopkins Fulfillment Services (HFS) at Johns Hopkins University Press (JHUP). Prior to joining JHUP, she was Marketing Director at National Book Network and Sales and Marketing Director at Biblio Distribution. Davida has been published by No Voice Unheard, VRG, and Microcosm Publishing, all nonprofit publishers. Her debut novel, Sinkhole, will be published by the University of New Orleans Press in May 2022. Davida has her BFA (summa cum laude) from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

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