Building an inclusive culture

In 2021, we widened our DEI perspective and scope. We used survey results to agree new goals and inform a strategy focused on equitable recruiting, promotion and succession. In 2018, we set a target that 45% of our top three tiers of leadership should be women by 2023. During 2020 we reached this target but have since dipped below, ending 2021 at 41%. Overall, we are making good progress: the split of men and women hired at senior levels is around 50/50, for example. However, reporting line changes mean this is not always evident in the data. To reflect our representation goals, we will launch a new strategy focusing on equitable recruiting, promotion and succession in 2022.

Case study

Listening to our people: inclusion and diversity survey

In summer 2021, Springer Nature held its first global Inclusion and Diversity Survey to learn how all employees feel about inclusion and to support our journey to making an inclusive workplace. 62% of colleagues took part, a high participation rate for surveys of this type. We will use the results to inform our next steps, including setting new goals for race, ethnicity and international representation. The survey will now be annual, enabling us to track Springer Nature’s progress towards becoming more inclusive.

A group of people sitting and talking with each other at a table with various books and stationary.

Case study

Accessibility and disability: the valuable 500

In 2021, we joined the Valuable 500, and committed to becoming a Disability Confident employer. We are also aiming to significantly increase user-experience research with participants with a disability – working towards a longer-term aim of 20% representation.

This commitment requires us to tailor our digital products to meet the needs of all of our users. Contributions from users with disabilities will help teams to empathise and understand practical needs; positively influencing design and helping spark innovation.

Valuable 500 poster

“With their Inclusion and Diversity Survey, Springer Nature has tried to fully understand the experiences of all its employees, including those with disabilities. Figuring out how to launch a survey like this is one of the priorities for the 500 organisations that are part of the Valuable 500 over the coming months.”

Caroline Casey, Founder, Valuable 500

Case study

Elevating black excellence in stem

The contribution made by Black innovators and leaders to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has not always been widely recognised. In 2021, Springer Nature’s Black Employee Network (SN BEN) launched a speaker series, available on YouTube, to showcase excellence, especially for those entering the research publishing and STEM sectors. Featuring speakers from partner organisations in areas related to STEM, the talks included discussion about their career paths, role models, mentorship and diversity.

Springer Nature: Black Employee Network, Speaker series. Presented by Springer Nature and Scientific American. Maynard Okereke 'Hip-Hop M.D.'

How our work helps others

As a global publisher, we have a responsibility to use our influence to push for positive change.

We have developed an external DEI strategy for each part of our business – research, professional and educational – to ensure we serve all our communities and customers in an inclusive and fair way. We commit to championing DEI in the communities we work with. We will also work to eliminate barriers to creating, discovering and using knowledge, and support equitable outcomes in learning and advancing scholarship – from young learners to PhD level and beyond.

Case study

Practising inclusion: Nature masterclasses

Springer Nature’s Research Solutions division offers high-quality training for researchers in a number of formats, including Nature Masterclasses’ live workshops and e-learning courses. Their aim is for the training offer to be intentionally inclusive with DEI principles incorporated by design, building diverse representation into training exercises, following a sensitivity guide when creating new content, and working with accessibility experts to ensure materials are inclusive and accessible. Before joining a live workshop, participants are asked about their accessibility requirements, and trainers – whether in-house or third party – are provided with DEI resources.

A man in a wheelchair at a desk speaking in an online meeting

Case study

Inclusive authorship: our new name change policy

Transgender authors can often face a lengthy and very public process, often with associated personal and professional risk, when seeking to correct their publication record. In 2021, we announced a new policy to enable trans authors and others to correct their names on their published works.

By providing the tools and support to do this silently and safely, we aim to redress these challenges and to further drive the elimination of these systemic barriers within the academic community. As part of this policy, biographical information, including pronouns and author photographs, will be corrected as needed to reflect the name change. We will implement this policy across all of our scholarly journals, magazines, conference proceedings and books, as part of our continued commitment to supporting DEI and collaborating with our communities to ensure that this support enables and promotes a more equal and inclusive culture in academic research.

Someone typing on a keyboard