Elsevier Inclusion & Diversity Data Snapshot 2023
8 March 2023
By Mie-Yun Lee
We are taking pragmatic, data-led action to measurably improve inclusion, diversity and equity in our workforce.
At Elsevier, we work every day to create an inclusive, diverse and equitable workplace where all our people can thrive and grow. It is core to the Elsevier Experience.
Pictured above: Mie-Yun Lee, Chief of Staff at Elsevier and head of our Inclusion & Diversity efforts, speaks on a New York townhall with colleagues Gregg Gordon, Managing Director of SSRN and Knowledge Lifecycle Management, and Judy Verses, President of Academic and Government Markets. (Photo by Alison Bert)
With our Elsevier colleagues’ vision, commitment and persistence lending inspiration and momentum, we continue our multi-year journey to build a vibrant, diverse workplace that reflects the communities we serve.
Last year, we shared our first diversity data snapshot. Today, we provide an update on our progress.
As we do with all our efforts, we start with a focused strategy and then experiment, learn and embed what works. Our I&D strategy is no different. In 2022, we concentrated on making our psychological safety and inclusion efforts sustainable, running four mentoring programs to support colleagues from various diversity lenses, including Disability, Gender, Pride and Race and Ethnicity, and strengthening support for our employee resource groups that drive positive change.
In addition, colleagues everywhere worked on many other efforts to improve inclusion and diversity in their teams, across our organization and for our customers and the communities we serve. Their passion is humbling and inspiring and some of their efforts are noted below. Thanks to these collective efforts, we are truly grateful for the recognition of the progress we have made by others.
Psychological safety and Inclusion
Building an inclusive, agile, engaged and sustainable culture is a strategic priority for Elsevier. We continually strive to ensure employees feel safe to voice their ideas, questions and concerns, to freely discuss mistakes as learning experiences, and to respect each other’s differences. That way, personal growth, innovation, diversity and high performing teams can thrive.
To measure psychological safety, we use Dr Amy Edmondson’s psychological safety questions(opens in new tab/window). Last year, we expanded our survey for psychological safety and inclusion from a portion to all employees, providing all managers and teams with awareness and actionable insights to foster open and inclusive working environments.
In 2022, our psychological safety scores grew from 75% to 80%. Meanwhile, we see an opportunity to improve our internally-developed inclusion score, which dipped from 76% to 74%. As a psychological safety benchmark, Dr Edmondson’s The Fearless Organization(opens in new tab/window) cites 80% as a score for high performing teams.
Psychological safety and inclusion serve as a bedrock for our diversity efforts and help ensure that all colleagues can feel like they belong. Over 50 psychological safety facilitators hold workshops with teams to discuss their results confidentially. In addition, to help all colleagues strengthen inclusive behavior, we have a program that reviews best practices and encourages a mindful approach.
We have made steady, consistent progress to improve diversity in the workforce, especially with the gender dimension. And we have more work to do.
Our total workforce reflects good gender balance, with women making up over half of our population. Last year, we had 52.2% women and 47.8% men across all employees.
While there is much more room to improve, we have made steady progress in improving gender equity in management and senior leadership levels. Women now make up 46.1% of our managers, which is a slight improvement over 2021. Among senior leaders1, 32.4% are women, which is greater than the 29% from the previous year2. In addition, Elsevier now has more than 60% women on its executive leadership team, which is a marked improvement from the 33% representation in 2021.
We continue to focus on strengthening the internal talent pipeline through initiatives like our Developing Talent for Gender Equity program. This 9-month program provides interested individuals with skills and visibility to prepare them for senior leadership opportunities. We are seeing improved talent outcomes for participants of the program when compared with the general Elsevier population. For example, in Q3 of 2022, 44% of the participants from the 2021-2022 cohort received promotions or job changes vs 19% of the total Elsevier population. We now have over 300 active alumni who form a community to share leadership experiences and provide support. In 2022, we ran our Women In Technology mentoring program for the fifth time. In 2022, 56 women took part as mentees and were mentored by colleagues from Elsevier and other RELX divisions.
Race & ethnicity
We have made important strides to address 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.
Overall, 19.8% of employees across the two countries represent a racial or ethnic minority. This has improved slightly from 19.4% in 2021.
When we focus on managers and senior leaders, we see that 14.2% of managers and 15% of senior leaders represent a racial or ethnic minority. This represents a step back for our manager population, as we had 14.6% managers of racial-ethnic diversity in 2021, and good progress for our senior leader population with 12% representation in 2021. However, we recognize the need to pursue improved diversity in both groups.
To help improve our representation at all levels, we have focused on internal talent development, employee community support, inclusive hiring and our recruitment pipeline.
Internal talent development: We successfully launched our first Developing Talent for Minority Equity program, providing 36 colleagues from 9 countries with leadership training and networking and mentorship opportunities to develop senior leadership skills and visibility.
Employee community support: With over 50 active employee resource group (ERG) 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.
Inclusive hiring: We have now rolled out RoleMapper — a tool to debias job listings for all roles across all geographies — and our recruiters use Horsefly to identify the best locations for sourcing diverse talent. Also, all recruiters include revised prompts on inclusion and diversity to help their discussions with hiring managers.
Recruitment pipeline: We continued to raise our profile among college students with the Rising TIDE internship program and provided paid internships for 21 US and UK college students from racially and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds. Five interns are now working for Elsevier as full-time employees, and more are in the process of applying for roles. In 2023, we will be running this program again. We found this pilot program to be a wonderful experience for interns and Elsevier colleagues alike.
In the coming year, we will continue to focus on how we develop our internal pipeline of diverse talent at all points of the employee lifecycle.
Recognizing that age is another important lens through which our experiences can differ, our Generations dimension brings attention and focus to that reality.
We are sharing our age diversity data for the first time. You can see the breadth of generations we cover, with 63.4% of our employees falling in the 31-50 age range, 19.7% being 50+ and 16.9% under 30 in 2022. With a slight increase in employees who are 30 years or under in age, this distribution remains steady versus 2021.
Through our Generations ERG and intersectional efforts with other ERGs, age diversity initiatives bring focus and action to creating a positive environment for employees of all ages.
To support our colleagues, we have successfully upgraded and improved the decision and preparation pathway to retirement and critical life change events. We worked closely with our HR colleagues to review and update all online materials to ensure they reflected the latest information, and we improved the overall end-to-end leaving process for colleagues leaving due to retirement by better honoring their service in our language and process flows. Also, we launched a mini site that includes preparation materials for individuals going into retirement to prepare them for the psychological and physical changes people experience.
In addition, we launched a menopause mentoring program to support women and build awareness. Plus we experimented with hiring younger employees via a tech apprenticeship program.
We have begun our journey and seek to provide support and empowerment within and across generations for our community at all stages of their life journey.
Elsevier has long been recognized internationally for its LGBTQIA+ inclusive culture and we have active Pride groups around the world. In 2022, we scored 99.1% in the 2022 Workplace Pride Benchmark(opens in new tab/window) — the leading international benchmark on LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion — putting Elsevier in the top Advocate category for the third year in a row.
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 launched a mentoring program in 2022 and welcomed 44 participants (22 mentors and 22 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 6-month period.
We also recognize that we do not yet have demographic data about our colleagues who have a disability such as a physical impairment, mental health condition, long-term or chronic health condition, or neurodivergence. Our Enabled ERG offers a community for colleagues with a disability-related lived experience. To support our colleagues, our initiatives in 2022 included:
Workplace accommodation: A team of committed employees across multiple teams came together to develop a way for people to easily request and fast track the purchase of needed software, furniture and technology to help them perform in their roles when working from home or the office.
Build awareness: We launched Disability Fundamentals — an online interactive training for managers and colleagues to learn about disability awareness, disclosures and accommodations.
Mentoring program: We launched our Elsevier Enabled mentoring program in 2022, matching seven pairs of employees who have a disability to help foster confidence at work. Across the four mentoring programs we had for specific diverse communities including Disability, Pride, Gender, and Race & Ethnicity (R&E), a total of 128 mentees and their mentors took part.
Internship program: We partnered with Leonard Cheshire(opens in new tab/window) on the Rising TIDE internship program and provided 9 UK college students who identified as having a disability with the opportunity to work at Elsevier for the summer. We found this pilot program to be a wonderful experience for interns and Elsevier colleagues alike especially in gaining disability confidence.
Inclusion & Diversity goals
Gender: Increase the percentage of women in management, senior leadership and technology roles over time.
Race & Ethnicity: Increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our workforce over time
LGBTQIA+: Foster an LGBTQIA+ supportive workplace, with progress tracked through employee surveys.
Disability: Foster a disability-supportive workplace, with progress tracked through employee surveys.
Age: Promote a positive age diverse environment that provides support and empowerment for our workforce.
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; support engagement for inclusion initiatives across Elsevier, with leadership involvement and grassroots employee participation, including through Employee Resource Groups.
About the data
Elsevier is a member of RELX(opens in new tab/window). This snapshot is based on data found in the RELX Corporate Responsibility Report(opens in new tab/window) and reflects the Elsevier portion of the people data. The source and definition of the data used can be found in our RELX reporting guidelines(opens in new tab/window).