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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, regardless of race, gender, age, physical ability, religion or sexual orientation. 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.

We are now in the fourth year of our diversity plan. 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.

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

  • Promotion and retention: We have held focus groups in a number of our locations to find out more about the barriers to promotion for women and people from diverse backgrounds. We are piloting employee networks where employees can learn from role models all over Pearson and share common experiences.
  • Work with our 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 extended summer internship programmes in the US, UK and Hong Kong, resulting in 15% more interns from diverse backgrounds during 2005. The vast majority are keen to work for Pearson in the future and in 2005 we made four permanent hires in the UK from the scheme.
  • Recruitment: We continue to focus on recruiting students from diverse backgrounds by holding open days, attending careers fairs and working with student societies and university careers services. Our US college recruiting programme has also grown significantly in the past year.
  • 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
  • Training: We have designed diversity training at induction level for our recruiters, our managers and our top executives, and have begun to roll it out across the company.
  • 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.
  • Community programmes: We have evaluated the impact of our community and corporate social responsibility programmes on people from diverse backgrounds. Our focus on inner-city initiatives and under-served communities means that much of our activity directly benefits people from these groups.
  • Pay: We have evaluated the pay of men and women in top management and are satisfied that we do not discriminate against women by paying them less than men for similar jobs.
  • Supplier diversity: We have established a supplier diversity policy, which is currently being disseminated across the business.
  • Commercial achievements: We have enjoyed a number of commercial successes this year including increased revenues from the sale of Made In Britain - Inspirational Role Models from Ethnic Minority Communities. The African American Odyssey textbook holds a 50% US college market share and was selected by the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a required text for all high school juniors.


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

  • Race for Opportunity Gold Award - we moved from 11th place in 2004 to 9th place in 2005.
  • Penguin US named New York University's Diversity Employer of the Month, January 2005.


We now have solid data across Pearson which enables us to track the success of our diversity policies.

In addition to this, we also now collect the following data:

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

Goals for the year ahead

  • Show evidence of progress in recruitment of people with diverse backgrounds for both entry level and management positions.
  • Introduce networking groups in the US and UK to develop future leaders and retain key employees.

For more information on diversity at Pearson please see

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