Paving the Way to A Sustainable Company: DEI Commitment

By: Saskia Hoving, Mon May 1 2023
Saskia H

Author: Saskia Hoving

The greatest challenges of our time are spread over diverse topics. Environmental issues all of us think about when imagining our or our kid’s future, social problems we are facing in our daily life or governance decisions we are confronted with directly or experience indirectly. Tackling those challenges seems like an insurmountable barrier, but step by step these challenges can be approached and overcome

This blog is part of a series to accompany the publication of Springer Nature’s Sustainable Business Report 2022. It highlights just a few contributions the company has made towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the past year. The below covers Springer Nature’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in research we publish and within the company itself.

Initiatives that support DEI in science

As a company for academic publishing Springer Nature takes these steps by contributing to sustainable development with publishing relevant research as well as by committing to an ethical and sustainable business, which treats people fairly and impartially. Elaborating on the management approach and the progress addressing our most environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges, Springer Nature has launched its annual Sustainable Business Report.

The action Springer Nature takes in support of delivering the SDGs, which cover the fight against a variety of these challenges, is also detailed in the report. The Nature Portfolio & Editorial Team especially focused on addressing social challenges, including Gender Equity and Racism through science with launching a diversity commitment. It describes how they increase gender diversity to amplify the voices and perspectives of people of underrepresented gender in research and draw attention to issues that are significantly impacting them. Two contributions to Inclusion are Nature’s guest editorial on racism in science and Nature’s first conference on diversity in research.

  • Guest Editorial on Racism in Science : The result of Nature’s commitment to producing a special issue on racism in science is the special issue, entitled, “Racism: Overcoming science’s toxic legacy”, published in October 2022. The special issue on this topic, produced under the guidance of guest editors, is a first in the journal’s history. The importance of the question why science needs to reckon with its history of racism is displayed in an editorial included in the special issue. Quoting one of the guest editors, political scientist and MIT’s Chancellor Melissa Nobles, the project was, “A great opportunity for us to come together in a collective voice and share our different expertise, but also work with such a skilled and informed team as that of Nature.”
  • First Conference on Diversity in Research: Research has a great impact on gender equity and the goal of achieving it. On the one hand publishing research on the topic of gender equality and on the other hand recognising the contributions people of all gender make to research and science. Women for example still face structural barriers to advance and consolidate their careers as scientists and represent only 33.3 % of researchers globally. To support women in science, Nature held its first conference on diversity in research under the theme of “Breaking Barriers for Gender Equity through Research”, to highlight this correlation and create new opportunities for networking and mentoring. Aligning with that was the theme of International Women’s Day 2022, “Breaking the Bias”. Special gratitude goes to Springer Nature’s SDG5 working group which organised this conference, attended by 1,670 participants, with support from Nature employee networks.

Publishing research on SDG 5: Gender Equality

Gender equality in its depth is about achieving equity and equality of all genders and not defining people solely by their gender identity. Identity-based violence and discrimination, recognising the contributions of all people regardless of their gender identity, ensuring equitable representation, and providing equitable access to technology and economic resources are just a few goals to be achieved regarding gender equality. Springer Nature publishes research on that topic to help achieve SDG 5 and works to ensure a fair and impartial treatment of all genders. Another step towards gender equity is the conference Springer Nature held on this topic.

Supporting DEI from the inside out

Springer Nature’s content and communities including the wide range of Springer Nature employee networks, reflect Springer Nature’s deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Cherishing these values in our organisation results in a fair treatment and inclusion of everyone regardless of their gender, skin colour, ethnicity, sexuality, or any other personal characteristic. Achieving this naturally results in a more pleasant work environment, which the employees as well as the company itself benefit from. We are listening to our people to identify where change is needed and initiate these changes to become a fully inclusive organisation.

These contributions and commitments are just part of what we do as a company to become a sustainable business. You can read more about that in the Sustainable Business Report.

If you are interested in reading more about Springer Nature’s news, initiatives, and community spotlights for research professionals like yourself, don’t miss out on the latest news and blogs, subscribe to The Link Alerts.

Saskia H

Author: Saskia Hoving

In the Dordrecht office, Marketing Manager Saskia Hoving produces The Link Newsletter for research communities. Focusing on the evolving role of libraries regarding SDGs, Open Science, and researcher support, she explores academia's intersection with societal progress. With a lifelong passion for sports and recent exploration into "Women’s inclusion in today’s science", Saskia brings dynamic insights to her work.