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Another two of the big four major publishers have made important appointments regarding diversity and inclusion. In the US Carrie Bloxson is joining Hachette Book Group as Vice-President, Diversity and Inclusion, and in the UK HarperCollins has appointed Maheen Choonara to the newly created roe of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging manager.
Both appointments underline the continuing importance of diversity to publishers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Bloxson will become a member of Hachette Book Group’s executive management board. She joins from DoSomething.org, a social impact organisation where she has been interim CEO and chief marketing officer. Earlier she was v-p of marketing at HarperCollins and she has more than 20 years’ experience as a marketing strategist.
Bloxson will lead Hachette’s diversity and inclusion programs and strategy, helping it create “a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable company with increased representation of people of colour in HBG’s leadership, workplaces, and publishing programs,” the company said. “She will also support and amplify the work the company is doing in the areas of talent development, recruitment, retention, training, office culture, business processes, marketing, and communications.”
Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch said Bloxson “brings a powerful combination of skills – extensive experience in diversity and inclusion and a demonstrated ability to inspire colleagues and lead transformative programs. Her knowledge of the publishing landscape and of book marketing will be especially valuable as she challenges us to move beyond past practices and achieve measurable and lasting change”.
Bloxson said: “I’m thrilled to return to publishing and work with the team at Hachette. This is a rare opportunity where my core values align with what I believe HBG wants to accomplish: to be a publisher that values diversity and inclusion, and one that understands how essential books are to promoting healthy discourse in our society. I look forward to creating positive and meaningful change while promoting and embodying the values of equity and inclusion, as well as respect, integrity and excellence.”
In the UK, Choonara will report to HarperCollins’ Director of People John Athanasiou. She will help drive the publisher’s diversity, inclusion and belonging strategy, and will work closely with the people team, senior executives and CEO Charlie Redmayne. She joins from the charity Cancer Research UK where she was Diversity and Inclusion adviser.
Athanasiou said: “This is a critical role that will help carry us forward faster as we enact positive inclusive change. Maheen brings invaluable experience, and she will play a crucial part in helping make HCUK an even more diverse and inclusive workplace.”
Choonara added: “I’m thrilled to be joining HarperCollins and to build on its commitment to diversify the workforce and better represent its readership. Last year brought many inequalities into sharp focus. This role will give me the opportunity to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities and create systemic change. I’m excited to be able to work across the business and be part of an organisation proactively creating a more inclusive culture.”