Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
The DEI Committee aims to ensure social justice—in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society—in the field of literary agenting and via agents’ roles as gatekeepers. Our main goal is to address the biases, practices, and policies that prevent equitable access to careers as literary agents.
Our points of action include:
- Providing mentorship and financial support to aspiring agents
- Raising awareness in our work as cultural arbiters and gatekeepers
- Providing education and training to identify and course-correct biases
- Promoting equal and fair pay and compensation packages
- Expanding recruitment and opening hiring practices beyond word-of-mouth referrals
- Encouraging not just diversity of the workforce but, via equal access, a diversity of thought in a thought-based industry: ideas, perspectives, and values
- Partnering with existing organizations who share in this mission, such as WNDB, Representation Matters, POC in Publishing, Minorities in Publishing, etc.
Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. While diversity is often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, we embrace a broader definition of diversity that also includes age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. Our definition also includes diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives, and values. We also recognize that individuals affiliate with multiple identities.
Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.
Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. It’s important to note that while an inclusive group is by definition diverse, a diverse group isn’t always inclusive. Increasingly, recognition of unconscious or ‘implicit bias’ helps organizations to be deliberate about addressing issues of inclusivity.