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Elsevier inclusion & diversity data snapshot 2024

March 8, 2024

By Mie-Yun Lee

Angelica Kerr (left), a Data Reporting Analyst at Elsevier, talks with Judy Verses, President of Academic & Government Markets, in Elsevier’s New York office. (Photo by Alison Bert)

Angelica Kerr (left), a Data Reporting Analyst at Elsevier, talks with Judy Verses, President of Academic & Government Markets, in Elsevier’s New York office. (Photo by Alison Bert)

Driven by employee data and initiative, we are taking action to measurably improve diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace.

At Elsevier, we strive to create an inclusive, diverse and equitable workplace where all our people can thrive. This is core to the Elsevier Experience. In the words of our CEO, Kumsal Bayazit:

“Inclusion and diversity are at the heart of the way we run our business. We focus on accountability and practical action to make our organization a place where colleagues can be their best, feel valued and have equal opportunities to continually grow and develop. We are encouraged by the demonstrable progress we are making, including the valued recognition for Elsevier as the number 1 company for diversity.

“This is a journey, and we will continue to improve our inclusion and diversity across the many dimensions of race and ethnicity, gender, age, LGBTQ+ and abilities amongst our 9,500 colleagues.”

Kumsal Bayazit


Kumsal Bayazit

Chief Executive Officer at Elsevier

With our Elsevier colleagues’ vision, commitment and persistence lending inspiration and momentum, we continue our journey to build a vibrant, diverse workplace that reflects the communities we serve.

Last year, we shared our second diversity data snapshot. Today, we provide an update on our progress.

2023 highlights

Our mission is to help researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and health outcomes for the benefit of society. To do this effectively requires drawing from a diverse pool of talent, expertise and experience. In 2023, we continued our intentional efforts to embed and increase inclusion and diversity in all areas of our business. In this way, we aim to create a sustainable, high-performing environment that fosters psychological safety and inclusivity and embraces diversity. Key efforts included strengthening our Elsevier-wide psychological safety program, continuing to provide and evolve mentoring programs for colleagues and university students alike, and hosting events to help our Elsevier community better understand and share the lived experience of colleagues.

These efforts do not get magically delivered; they reflect the dedication of many people including our employee resource groups, our business champions, HR leads and senior executives who sponsor initiatives that foster inclusion and diversity, and our central I&D teams. In 2023, we continued to evolve our psychological safety and inclusion efforts to ensure they are both sustainable and impactful. Based on what we learned in 2022, we expanded our mentoring programs, including those for disability, gender, and Pride. We have also worked to strengthen our employee resource groups (ERGs), which are crucial to inclusion in the organization, and we continue to look for ways to strengthen them further.

Across the globe, our people are committed to embedding inclusion and diversity in all they do for their colleagues, customers, and the communities we serve. Their passion is humbling and inspiring, and some of their efforts are noted below. Thanks to these efforts, we have made progress, and we are truly grateful to our people for their drive and commitment to I&D.

Psychological safety and inclusion

Fostering an inclusive, agile, engaged and sustainable culture stands as a key strategic focus for Elsevier. Our ongoing commitment revolves around creating an environment where employees are encouraged to express their ideas, pose questions and share concerns openly. We value the freedom to discuss mistakes as essential learning experiences and uphold mutual respect for individual differences. This approach fosters an atmosphere conducive to personal growth, innovation, diversity and the flourishing of high-performing teams.

To measure psychological safety, we use Dr Amy Edmondson’s Psychological Safety Indexopens in new tab/window. Our score has continued to improve in 2023. We share the results of our survey for psychological safety and inclusion with all employees, providing managers and teams with awareness and actionable insights to foster open and inclusive working environments.

While we have shared our psychological safety scores in previous snapshots, we decided to stop doing so publicly. We have learned that doing so could result in the index becoming used in a numbers-focused manner that can be unhelpful. As we greatly value the use of these scores as a tool for discussion and reflection for our teams, we will simply say that we are happy with our results and the conversation they have inspired.

Psychological safety and inclusion serve as a bedrock for our diversity efforts and help ensure that all colleagues can thrive. In 2023, over 30 psychological safety facilitators held over 75 workshops with teams worldwide to discuss their team’s scores in a confidential setting. In addition, to help all colleagues strengthen inclusive behavior, we created a new program that reviews best practices and encourages a mindful approach.

Diversity data

We have made steady, consistent progress to improve diversity in the workforce, especially with respect to gender. And we have more work to do.

Gender equity

Our total workforce reflects good gender balance, with women making up over half of our population. Last year, we had 52.4% women and 47.2% men across all employees (with 0.4% “unknown”).

Chart: Women make up over half of Elsevier's workforce Last year, we had 52.4% women and 47.2% men across all employees (with 0.4% “unknown”).

We have also continued to make steady progress in improving gender equity in management and senior leadership levels. Women now make up 46.7% of our managers, which is a slight improvement over 2022. Among senior leaders, 33.3% are women, which is greater than the 32.4% in the previous year. In addition, Elsevier’s Executive Leadership Team continues to show good gender balance, with women making up nearly 60% of the team.

Chart: Women now make up 46.7% of our managers. Among senior leaders, 33.3% are women. In addition, Elsevier’s Executive Leadership Team continues to show good gender balance, with women making up nearly 60% of the team.

We continue to focus on strengthening the internal talent pipeline through initiatives like our Developing Talent for Gender Equity program. This nine-month program is designed to strengthen gender representation in the senior leadership pipeline. It is open to transgender men and women, non-binary colleagues and cis-gender women. We are seeing improved talent outcomes for participants of the program when compared with the general Elsevier population. For example, in Q1 of 2023, 54% of the participants from the 2021–22 cohort received promotions or job changes vs 25% of the total Elsevier population. We now have over 300 active alumni, who form a community to share leadership experiences and provide support.

In 2023, we ran our Women in Technology mentoring program for the fifth time: 71 women were mentored by colleagues from Elsevier and other RELX divisions.

We employ more than 2,000 technologists, and we continue to see the percentage of female technologists rise.

Elsevier employs more than 2,000 technologists, and they continue to see the percentage of female technologists rise. In 2023, 25% of their technologists were women.

Race & ethnicity

We continue to see improvements in our racial and ethnic diversity, and we still have more work to do.

This chart shows the racial and ethnic diversity of our US- and UK-based employees over the last three years.

This chart shows the racial and ethnic diversity of our US- and UK-based employees over the last three years. Overall, 21.6% of employees across the two countries represent a racial or ethnic minority. This has improved slightly from 19.7% in 2023.

Overall, 21.6% of employees across the two countries represent a racial or ethnic minority. This has improved slightly from 19.7% in 2022.

When we focus on managers and senior leaders, we see that 15% of managers and 18.5% of senior leaders represent a racial or ethnic minority. This represents an improvement for both groups, as we had 14.4% managers of racial-ethnic diversity in 2022 and 15% of senior leaders. However, we recognize the need to pursue improved diversity in both groups.

Chart: At Elsevier, 15% of managers and 18.6% of senior leaders represent a racial or ethnic minority in 2023.

Age diversity

Recognizing that age is another important lens through which our experiences can differ, our Generations dimension brings attention and focus to that reality.

Last year, we shared our age diversity data for the first time, and we are doing so again this year. You can see the breadth of generations we cover, with 64.4% of our employees falling in the 31–50 age range, 20.1% being 50+ and 15.5% under 30 in 2023. With a slight decrease in employees who are 30 years or under in age, this distribution remains steady from 2022.

At Elsevier in 2023, 64.4% of employees fall in the 31–50 age range, 20.1% are 50+ and 15.5% are under 30.


Elsevier has long been recognized internationally for its LGBTQIA+ inclusive culture, and we have active Pride groups around the world. In 2023, we scored 96.9 % in the 2023 Workplace Pride Benchmarkopens in new tab/window— the leading international benchmark for LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion — putting Elsevier in the top Advocate category for the fourth year in a row. In 2023, we continued our Pride mentoring program, which ran its second cohort with nearly double the number of active participants from the previous year. With 38 mentors and 39 mentees, new and early-career Elsevier employees who identify as LGBTQIA+ were paired with more senior colleagues who identify as LGBTQIA+ or allies for mentoring and support during a six-month period. We also joined myGworkopens in new tab/window — the global recruitment and networking hub for LGBTQ+ professionals —to support recruitment from the LGBTQIA+ community. Although we do not yet have data that helps us understand the presence of our LGBTQIA+ community, we work actively to support our colleagues.


We recognize that we do not yet have demographic data about our colleagues who have a disability such as a physical impairment, mental health condition, or long-term or chronic health condition, or who are neurodivergent. Our Elsevier Enabled ERG offers a community for colleagues with a disability-related lived experience. To support our colleagues, our initiatives in 2023 included:

  • Workplace accommodation. We are continuing to improve the onboarding and workplace accommodations processes for employees with disabilities, partnering with the workplace accommodations experts at Microlink to ensure that we are equipping our people to perform in their roles whether working from home or the office.

  • Disability awareness. As part of our commitment to building an inclusive culture, we launched the industry-recognized Sunflower Initiativeopens in new tab/window, applying the principles of extra kindness to those who have an invisible disability and displaying the sunflower logo on lanyards, signatures or teams’ backgrounds in group settings for awareness.

  • Mentoring program. We facilitated the second cohort of the Elsevier Enabled mentoring program in 2023, matching 14 pairs of employees with a disability (double the number from 2022) to help foster confidence at work, career progression and retention of diverse talent.

  • Internship program. We partnered with Leonard Cheshireopens in new tab/window on the Rising TIDE internship program, giving seven UK college students who identified as having a disability the opportunity to work at Elsevier for the summer. We found this program to be a wonderful experience for interns and Elsevier colleagues alike, especially in gaining disability confidence. One of our interns is now with us full time.

Inclusive hiring

To help improve our diversity across all levels, we have focused on internal talent development, employee community support, inclusive hiring and our recruitment pipeline.

  • Employee community support: With over 50 active employee resource group chapters, we formed a global ERG council with leaders from each dimension. And in APAC, we established seven regional I&D teams. Through these groups, we are finding ways to better support the many employee-led initiatives and address their collective needs. Our ERGs are partnering with Talent Acquisition to get feedback on our recruiting processes and strategies and how we might make them more inclusive.

  • Inclusive hiring: We use a tool called RoleMapperopens in new tab/window to help us make job advertisements more inclusive, removing any biased language and limiting the role requirement to the essentials — something research has shown to dramatically improve accessibility and increase the diversity of the candidate pool.

  • Inclusive hiring training sessions: For all hiring managers globally, this session is designed to identify practical steps a hiring manager can take to ensure their hiring process is inclusive and supports diversity.

  • Recruitment pipeline: We continue to raise our profile among college students with the Rising TIDE internship program, providing paid internships for 14 US and UK college students from racially and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds in 2023. Five interns are now working for Elsevier as full-time employees, and more are in the process of applying for roles. We will be running this program again in 2024.

In the coming years, we will continue to focus on how we develop our internal pipeline of diverse talent at all points of the employee journey.

RELX inclusion goals for 2020 to 2025

Elsevier is part of RELXopens in new tab/window, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. These are the inclusion goals established in 2020:

  • Gender: Increase the percentage of women in management, senior leadership, and technology roles over time.

  • Race and ethnicity: Increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our workforce over time.

  • LGBTQ+: Foster an LGBTQ+ supportive workplace tracked through employee surveys.

  • Disability: Foster a disability supportive workplace tracked through employee surveys.

  • Inclusive workplace: Establish minimum global standards in areas such as flexible working and leave benefits; continue impactful global inclusion training and track effectiveness, including through employee surveys; engagement on inclusion across RELX, with leadership involvement and grassroots employee participation, including through ERGs.

About the data

This snapshot is based on data found in the RELX Corporate Responsibility Report opens in new tab/windowand reflects the Elsevier portion of the people data. The source and definition of the data used can be found in our RELX reporting guidelinesopens in new tab/window.