Do the Right Thing: Business, Leadership & Personal Finance Books 2022 – Publishers Weekly

Diversity is not a new word in the corporate lexicon, but upcoming books hint at a shift in how seriously it’s being taken. Indeed, before the murder of George Floyd touched off a widespread racial reckoning, improving diversity in the workforce was a nice-to-have at best, adjacent but not primary to most companies’ core principles. Publishers are seeing a new drive to embed DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts in corporate DNA, and to provide blueprints for achieving these goals.

The Call is Coming from Inside the House

Some editors saw a shift in the books being pitched in the wake of the summer of 2020. Whereas previous works simply made a case for a diverse workforce and aimed to educate managers on why embracing differences was good for the bottom line, the authors of these books assume that their audiences are already on board.

“Lots of proposals that I used to get were about ‘why diversity is important’ and ‘why it should be on the agenda,’ ” says Lucy Carter, publisher at Kogan Page. “Well, it’s already there, right on top of the agenda. People want to know what to do about it.” Her acquisition The Key to Inclusion (July) “is about how you make diversity a core part of your overall business strategy, just like developing a budget.” Edited by Stephen Frost, who led inclusion programs for the London Olympics and taught inclusive leadership at Harvard Business School, the book also includes sector-specific guidance, offering advice for how to implement inclusive practices in industries such as tech, finance, and media.

While social movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo have shaped much of the discussion around DEI efforts, Kogan’s upcoming Positively Purple (Oct.), by disability activist Kate Nash, reminds business leaders that building an inclusive corporate culture also means ensuring the workplace is accessible for disabled employees. The book notes that about 10% of workers have a visible or invisible disability. Beyond overcoming physical barriers, Nash writes that much of disabled employees’ comfort at work boils down to company culture. Among her advice to managers, she recommends listening to employees with disabilities to learn how to best support them, and advocates for leadership to proactively raise awareness of how employees can request workplace accommodations.

Matt Holt, editor-in-chief of an eponymous imprint at BenBella, also senses a change in the way companies are approaching DEI initiatives. This time feels different, Holt says, because for many companies the call for change is coming from internal staff. “Things are coming to a head. Corporations recognize that they need to do this because their workforces are demanding it.” Holt’s acquisition Reconstructing …….


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *