March 21st was International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and this week has given us an opportunity to consider, collectively and individually, what we’re doing to counter racism and empower marginalised communities, and how we can do more.
Racially-motivated violence was sadly once again in the headlines last week, following the shooting in Atlanta, US, in which eight people were killed, six of whom were Asian American women. Over the past year, there has been a sharp rise in violence against Asian Americans and an increase in anti-Asian discrimination has also been reported worldwide, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Springer Nature stands with the Asian & Pacific Islander communities, our colleagues and members of our broader employee networks, firmly united against racist violence and discrimination of any kind.
Racism is a painful reality for our colleagues of colour and Black colleagues and fighting it takes all of us. One of the ways we stand with our colleagues against racism is by supporting our employee networks. This week, we have been working alongside our US network, SN A&PI (Asians & Pacific Islanders) to support colleagues impacted by the recent violence against their community. Our networks have been sharing resources, with specific focus on those created by AAPI and women-led businesses and non-profits, to offer a safe space to discuss racial violence and violence against women. With sponsorship from senior leaders, and the support of our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) team, all of our employee networks work hard to build a community for their members, share content and resources and advocate for their communities at work and beyond, which we know makes a real impact.
This week, we have also taken the opportunity to check in on our progress against the commitment to racial equality and social justice we made last June, following the high-profile incidents of violence against the Black community, including the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Since then, we have launched our internal diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment at Springer Nature, setting out our objectives and initiatives for the next three years, including initiatives focused on anti-racism. As part of these initiatives, we have hosted sessions for managers around the world with John Amaechi OBE, focused on DEI at work and how they can better support their teams. We have also committed to establishing targets to increase representation by race and ethnicity as well as international representation, which we will set over the coming months, in consultation with our employee networks. Alongside SN A&PI and SN Latinx, our Black Employee Network, SN BEN, was founded last year with an impactful launch event, featuring journalist Charles Blow and all three networks are building full programmes of internal and community-focused initiatives throughout 2021.
In addition to addressing DEI within Springer Nature with our internal strategy, we will shortly be sharing our externally-facing DEI strategy, focusing on our content and impact on our wider education, professional and research communities. We’re already working on initiatives to increase the diversity in our commissioned authors, peer reviewers and editorial boards, as well as amplifying under-represented voices, including as part of our Black Lives Matter content portal and the Amplifying Black Voices series on The Source blog, which we will continue to build on throughout 2021. Our approach to external DEI will be closely aligned with our internal DEI strategy. There is also a close link with our SDG Programme, where we have a content hub that aims to build bridges between research and practice to better achieve the goals of SDG 10: Reduced inequalities.
As an organisation, we remain committed to working against discrimination, educating ourselves and leveraging our privilege to amplify the voices of marginalised communities and through our DEI strategy, ensure that racial discrimination and discrimination of any kind has no place at Springer Nature.