Policy Press

EDI commitment and missions

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are foundational to our business ethos and we consider demographic, experiential and cognitive diversity in our policies and practices. At Bristol University Press (BUP) we value the diversity of thought, belief and background of our authors, editors and staff which enable us to publish a wide range of voices that challenge accepted norms.  

We recognise the range of protected characteristics under the UK 2010 Equality Act which protects people in employment from discrimination, victimization, harassment or other detriment across: age, disability, gender (sex), gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.  The legislation does not currently encompass class/socio-economic background or neurodiversity which BUP includes in its EDI remit.  The legislation currently allows for positive action but not positive discrimination. 

We have moved from a 25 year long informal company ethos to a formalised EDI strategy with annual implementation plans to be delivered 2021-2025. This work will draw on feedback from our community and be embedded across the organisation.  It is actively managed by the BUP Senior Management Team (SMT) supported by the cross- team EDI Working Group with representatives from each functional team.

Progress will be reported to the BUP Business Advisory Board and we will seek advice as needed from the BUP Editorial Board. The strategy recognises the longstanding EDI ethos and activities of BUP/PP, and the role of the University of Bristol in determining and supporting some policies.  The implementation plans will range across all the areas outlined above but with specific targets around race and ethnicity, gender and class/socio-economic background. 

The main goals of the project over the next five years fall under six pillars.  These are split into a) continuation of current practice and b) new goals. Below are the top three priorities for new goals under each of the six pillars.  Implementation plans are being developed for each pillar which include:

Recruitment and retention 

  • Work to increase the percentage of staff from diverse ethnic communities to at least the national average of 14% over the next five years [currently 4.4%]. 

  • Work to increase the percentage of staff from lower socio-economic backgrounds.    

  • Work to have a gender balance across all responsibility levels. 

Office culture, organisational policies and governance 

  • Identify and address barriers to inclusion within our policies, practices and structures, across the range of our operations.  Build accountability across the organisation. 

  • Create a fair and equitable flexible working model, including working from home, that delivers benefits for the individual, the functional teams and business outcomes.

  • Ensure our governance and leadership groups reflect the change our organisation wishes to see through its members e.g., Business Advisory Board, BUP Editorial Board, Senior Management Team.

Publishing programme 

  • Ensure EDI informs our publishing strategy in terms of list content, authorship and approach.  Create annual targets that are included in the annual Commissioning Implementation Plans. 

  • Sign up to, and action, relevant initiatives and partnerships that support our publishing on EDI issues e.g. UN SDG Publisher Compact. 

  • Provide equitable open access options, including the Global Social Challenges journal to increase the dialogue across disciplinary and geographical boundaries and reduce inequalities in access to knowledge.   

Authors, reviewers and editorial boards 

  • Create a system to gather self-reported diversity data on authors, reviewers, editors and editorial boards across Books and Journals divisions and provide benchmarks, targets, tracking and progress reporting (e.g. annual survey).

  • Establish a base line understanding of our authors, editors and members of editorial boards from ethnically-diverse backgrounds and set targets to increase this over the next five years.
  • Establish a base line understanding of authors, reviewers and members of editorial boards that are women and set targets to increase this over the next five years.  

Customers and vendors 

  • Establish a Global South marketing and sales strategy to ensure that we can provide our content to research institutions in low economic development countries with fair, affordable and sustainable access using partners such as Research4Life.

  • Work with local institutions and publishers to develop and support co-publishing and distribution opportunities in low economic development countries when it is possible.

  • Work on flexible business models with vendors, rights agencies, local organisations and local partnerships to support supply of books and journals to low economic development regions through our new digital platform.

 Management and impact of our EDI policies 

  • Establish the mechanisms for gathering relevant diversity data across the organisation to provide and track KPIs, benchmarks and targets. Produce regular progress reports for SMT, BAB as well as publishing annual surveys.

  • Create an annual activity plan, backed up with a focused hub on the BUP and Policy Press website and a strong Transforming Society presence, that draws together our EDI publishing and raises EDI issues within the wider community. 

  • Collaborate with other UK University Presses to raise EDI issues to a wider audience in academia and scholarly publishing and help bring about change collectively.


Find out about ongoing activities and updates in relation to all of the above here.

In addition to our commitments as part of the University of Bristol (read their Diversity and Inclusion information here), we are a signatory to the Joint Statement of Principles of the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications and the Diversity Charter developed by the Creative Industries Council.

Read the C4DISC Joint Statement of principles here.

Read the Creative Industries Council Diversity Charter here.

University of Bristol Statement on Race Equality.

Association of University Presses statement on Equity and Anti-Racism.

Back to our main EDI information page.