Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pledge:Simon & Schuster is dedicated to publishing a broad and diverse range of books for everyone, representative of the world around us. We are committed to working with and supporting writers, illustrators, and other creative partners from all walks of life, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, nationality, religion or belief, age, social or economic circumstance.
“Simon & Schuster is committed to creating and sustaining a workplace whose staff is representative of the multi-faceted audiences we serve. We look to foster and nurture a vibrant and stimulating culture of awareness and inclusion, in order that we may better identify and champion a diverse range of authors and viewpoints.”—Jonathan Karp, President & CEO
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is expressed through increased focus on recruiting and staffing, retention and career development, mentoring, diversity and inclusion training for employees, and a continued emphasis on broadening our publishing lists and marketing efforts to serve underrepresented groups. In addition, Simon & Schuster awards various scholarships, and is involved in various community outreach programs that help to create awareness of publishing and help broaden the candidate pool among underrepresented groups.
“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is much more than an 'HR issue.' It is an essential ingredient in the design and implementation of our business and must necessarily be embedded in the day-to-day activities of our company. True innovation requires that we reflect the world’s full diversity of individuals, opinions, and viewpoints. But it is not enough to simply include people at the table, but to amplify everyone’s voices, clear barriers, and appreciate each other for our unique backgrounds.”
—Amanda Armstrong-Frank, Director, Workplace Culture & Diversity Initiatives
Some of our initiatives to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our business and in our culture have been long-standing, while others are new. These include:
BLACK PRIVILEGE PUBLISHING led by Charlamagne tha God, to amplify Black and Brown narratives, engaging connected, culturally aware, cutting- edge audiences.
13A focuses on publishing renowned, relevant, and diverse voices in culture and politics. Its name refers to the amendment that abolished slavery.
Denene Millner Books celebrates the everyday joy of Black children and families.
Salaam Reads aims to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works.
The Multicultural Marketing department works on developing and sharing best practices for publishing multicultural works, strategizing marketing tactics and campaigns for individual titles and publishing programs, developing targeted marketing and merchandising programs, establishing relationships with key media, influencers, booksellers, and librarians, and serving as the liaison with internal and external partners to promote Simon & Schuster adult and children’s diverse publishing.
Multicultural Marketing Titles
Books Like Us
The Books Like Us program is a platform for promoting our diverse titles—Books Like Us includes video content from authors sharing their inspiration for writing their books and their experiences getting published, monthly emails featuring our upcoming titles, and Live content with our authors in conversation.
This video series showcases our authors and employees from underrepresented groups, discussing the books that influenced them and helped them to find their own voice.
Tara Dorabji Wins S&S's 2022 Books Like Us First Novel PrizeTara Dorabji won the 2022 Books Like Us first novel grand prize, for her novel Fire. Set in a fictional land that draws much from occupied Kashmir, Fire is an intergenerational story of love, betrayal, and family secrets that takes the reader into everyday life under military occupation.Tara Dorabji is a writer, radio journalist, mother, filmmaker and Vice President at The Center for Cultural Power, a home for artists and activists. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation. Her work is published in Al Jazeera, The Chicago Quarterly, Huizache, and acclaimed anthologies including Good Girls Marry Doctors and All the Women in My Family Sing. She received a 2019 & 2021 Arts Commission from the San Francisco Arts Commission for her writing and documentaries on Kashmir. Her award-winning documentary films, Rise from It and Here Still, were screened at film festivals throughout Asia and the United States, including at the Jaipur International Film Festival, the world’s largest competitive film festival. Awards include 2020 Best Short Documentary Film at Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Award for Best Short Documentary Film 2020, Asia’s Best Independent Documentary Film at the All Asia Independent Film Festival 2020, a Silver Medal at the 2020 Asia South East Short Film Festival, and The Debut Filmmaker Award from the Druk International Film Festival in 2020.Emma Deshpande, for her novel Spiral, and Valentine Marie, for her novel Hymn for the Broken, were this year's semifinalists.This year's contest was hosted by the Simon & Schuster adult trade imprint. Last year's inaugural winner was Elba Iris Pérez, whose novel The Things We Didn't Know will be published by Gallery in the spring of 2024.
The BOOKS LIKE US First Novel Contest was created to facilitate accessibility to underrepresented writers and celebrate the diversity of readers across the United States. The Books Like Us First Novel Contest will rotate among all Simon & Schuster adult imprints.
During each session, aspiring writers are invited and encouraged to submit twenty-five pages of an original adult novel to SimonAndSchuster.com/p/Gallery-First-Novel-Contest. At the end of the submission period, the editorial, marketing, and publicity team at the imprint, will review all submissions for originality, relevance to today’s publishing climate, and writing quality. The author of the selected novel will be awarded the opportunity to enter into a $50,000 book deal with the imprint.
This new program is designed to find new voices from those who struggle to get past the literary industry’s traditional gatekeepers, with a focus on underrepresented writers.
Kaleidoscope was one of the children’s division earliest diversity initiatives. It is a diversity program that features a website and annual printed brochures. Thousands of brochures are distributed each year to teachers, librarians, booksellers, and consumers through numerous channels including educational wholesaler and retail account mailings, conferences, and trade shows.
Employee-Led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Councils
Simon & Schuster has three employee-led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Councils, comprised of employees from all divisions and levels of the company–one led by the UK Office, which includes employees from our offices in London, Australia, India, one in Canada, and one in the United States.
The focus of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Councils are to foster a positive and inclusive work environment, identify diversity, equity, and inclusion related issues and develop recommendations and initiatives that embrace the differences of current and potential employees. It is our goal that Simon & Schuster become an employer of choice, so that both prospective employees and authors of varied backgrounds will be attracted to Simon & Schuster and view the company as a superior publisher of quality books. We strive to maintain our exceptional reputation and competitive advantage in the publishing industry.
Fostering An Inclusive Culture
Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council hosts authors for employees which feature inspiring voices who help us to see beyond our own known spaces and challenge how we think. Past authors have included Zulema Arroyo Farley, Ilia Calderon, Common, Chloe Gong, Erica Dunbar, Arun Gandhi, Tim Gunn, Marc Lamont Hill, T.D. Jakes, Constance Wu, Rachael Lippincott, Robbie Couch, Kiese Laymon, Marlee Matlin, Janet Mock, Rebecca Roanhorse, Jenny Han, Ilyasah Shabazz, Sister Souljah, and Paula Stone Williams.