35 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
across 5 diversity dimensions drive company culture and policy
Inclusion and diversity
Knowledge and innovation are born of diversity: diversity of people, ideas, thought, culture and perspective. In science and health — where knowledge can change a life or the destiny of our planet — diversity is essential.
Innovation, productivity and decision-making are enhanced when we embrace differences — from gender identity and sexual orientation to race and ethnicity, age, physical ability and neurodiversity. We are committed to ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and to driving that in research, in health, and in our own organization.
For our communities
We're part of the research and healthcare ecosystem, which encompasses academic and corporate researchers, librarians, research leaders, funders, clinicians, nursing and medical students, nurse educators, publishers, and more. These communities are committed to tackling the challenges of our time, such as the climate emergency, health disparities, and food and energy insecurity in a way that benefits all society.
As a global leader in scientific publishing, research, health information, and data analytics, Elsevier aims to contribute to this effort by promoting and driving inclusion, diversity and equity in research and healthcare through an evidence-based approach, with a coordinated set of actions that are informed by data.
Guided by our independent Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board
While our approach has helped shape the conversation and drive action in areas such as gender representation, we recognize that there is more to be done. We are guided in our efforts by Elsevier’s independent Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board, which brings together preeminent academic leaders from around the world.
In March 2022 the board released a new report on where we can make meaningful interventions to help achieve measurable and lasting change. Read the report - Making progress towards a more inclusive research ecosystem - here.
Together, we aim to increase our impact in enhancing diversity and inclusion in research across gender, age, racial, ethnic, ability, and geographical dimensions.
Driving systemic change
By working together to remove systemic obstacles to participation and actively supporting career progression, we can more more quickly towards an inclusive research ecosystem .
Our gender reports provide data by discipline and country on how representation of women is evolving; they identify gaps and where there is real progress.
Understanding the current demographic diversity of our authors, reviewers and editors enables us to put in place actions, set goals and measure progress in pursuit of diversity, inclusion and equity. We have proudly collaborated with the Joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing to develop a common set of global schemas for gender identity and race & ethnicity (GRE), which have been endorsed by the joint commitment group.
Aries and Elsevier have now announced the opportunity for editors, reviewers and authors to choose to respond to a series of three questions to self-report their GRE data in Editorial Manager, Aries’ manuscript submission and peer review tracking system. We are delighted to share that we will shortly be enabling these questions across the majority of Elsevier’s journals, and inviting our society partners to participate.
We also analyze sustainability research to show its impact on the achievement the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). Our findings have revealed the striking scarcity of research that considers sex and gender dimensions in SDGs such as Climate Action
Within research, we are examining the make-up of our own editorial boards and actively working to create better gender balance and diversity across our journals. This means editorial boards, reviewers and invited conference speakers, as well as authors who are also grant recipients, university faculty members and research trainees.
For example, with the Millennial Sister Circle with the Black Women's Health Alliance (pictured below), we're working to increase knowledge and improve attitudes and behaviors, empowering young Black women to take charge of their health and reduce emotional and physical health disparities in their communities.
We're also partnering with the National League of Nursing/Elsevier HBCU Excellence in Technology Innovation programs, the 2020 scholarship fund will provide each of the five participating HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Schools of Nursing with a $10,000 scholarship fund to provide additional support for the nurses of tomorrow.
We are also a founding member or Research4Life, which aims to foster a strong and independent research culture in the developing world — one that is fully integrated into the international research community with sustainable economic development and enhanced quality of life. More than 10,000 institutions in 125 countries are registered for Research4Life — which ensures they have free or low-cost access to one of the world’s largest collections of academic and professional peer reviewed content.
For our customers
We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for the people that use our platforms to do their work. That can mean helping authors factor diversity into the design, analyses and reporting of research studies, to ensuring that our healthcare and nursing platforms reflect the diversity of the people who benefit from them. It also means continuously working to ensure that our platforms are accessible for all users.
Driving inclusive research
At Elsevier, we have embedded the SAGER Guidelines, developed by the European Association of Science Editors (EASE), in our editorial guidelines, providing a comprehensive procedure for reporting of sex and gender information in study design, data analysis, results and interpretations. Looking ahead, we will focus on compliance with the guidelines in medicine and expand this work to other disciplines, such as computer science.
We are also working to train the next generation of researchers to think about inclusion at the research design stage. In 2020, we partnered with Prof Londa Schiebinger of Stanford University and Prof Cara Tannenbaum of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to create training for early career researchers on how to integrate sex and gender analysis into research.
Driving inclusive healthcare
We believe that everyone deserves access to the best possible care, and so we are working to make healthcare more inclusive. That means examining the ways in which our own tools reflect the diversity of patients and caregivers, as well was partnering with organizations around the world to increase access to training and care for those who need it most.
Information technology can significantly advance the delivery of healthcare in vulnerable communities. Our partnerships support organizations working to improve health outcomes in underserved communities through the innovative use of health information.
Furthermore, across our healthcare portfolio, we are looking for ways to make our tools more inclusive. For example, our Nursing Simulation tool Shadow Health includes virtual characters to help student nurses learn to engage with people from marginalized communities. The Chief Design Officer of Elsevier’s 3D4Medical, is working with leading 3D artists, medical experts, developers and designers to to make their anatomy models more inclusive of race and gender. In 2022, we launched the most advanced 3D full female model ever available.
For our people
We aim to make Elsevier a great place to work, where our employees feel valued, have equal opportunities and benefit from pay equality, regardless of their gender identity, national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability status. Creating that environment essential for serving the equally diverse communities we work with, it's the right thing to do, and it's something that matters to our staff:
Because we value cultural differences at Elsevier, we have set a course to create a more diverse workforce. Among the key ways we are doing this are
35 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Developing Talent for Gender Equity program
A 9-month developmental journey to increase gender balance in senior leadership roles
Unconscious Bias Training
80% management participation to date
Building Disability Confidence
Helping managers and all colleagues learn about disability awareness, etiquette, disclosures and accommodations
Our inclusive hiring materials help our managers target the key competencies for success in the role, reduce unconscious bias, and create a more inclusive process and help attract diverse talent.
271 team workshops held for 2585 participants in 2021
Platform to de-bias how we hire and select candidates to join our workforce
Learning from our people
Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) help us foster an inclusive environment. In these voluntary groups, employees share common interests related to I&D, allyship and cultural exchange, and provide input into policies to ensure that all are valued, included and empowered to succeed.
We know we are only at the start of this journey, but by listening to our employees we hope to continue to make progress.
Thanks to the dedication and contributions of the people who work at Elsevier, we have received recognition globally. Workplace Pride named Elsevier Top Scorer and Most Improved Private Sector for the 2020 Global Benchmark. With Comparably, which bases its rankings on employee surveys, Elsevier placed 8th as a Best Company for Global Culture in 2021; meanwhile, our CEO ranked among the Best CEOs for Diversity and a Top 10 CEO for Women. In 2021, we were awarded Advocate status by Workplace Pride, the international platform for LGBTQ+ inclusion at work, which itself followed our 2020 award for the most improved private sector organization.
We are taking concrete steps to accelerate inclusivity and build a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we operate in — in race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age. While data collection protocols vary around the world, we are putting systems in place to collect the information we need to hold ourselves accountable. We will be transparent in our approach.
You can also find out more about the data driven reports we have conducted to support inclusion and diversity in research and health:
- Gender in the Portugal Research Arena: A case study in European Leadership
- Gender Report 2020: The researcher journey through a gender lens
- Using data to advance sustainability goals
- Harvard study finds gender bias in invited editorials
- Gender gap revealed in academic journal submissions during first COVID-19 wave
- Joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing