World Book and Copyright Day, celebrated annually on April 23rd, is dedicated to promoting the value of books and reading and protecting the rights of authors and publishers. What does this do with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and business events?
Diversity in literature is crucial in creating an inclusive environment for all readers. Books that reflect different cultures, races, religions, and genders help readers better understand others and their experiences. Including diverse perspectives also promotes empathy and tolerance, inspiring individuals to become agents of change in their communities. Moreover, a diverse range of authors and publishers in the book industry ensures that different voices are heard and that the literary landscape remains rich and varied. Our industry must consider these aspects when creating and publishing materials that inform, train, and educate our workforce and delegates.
Equity in the book industry means that everyone has an equal opportunity to access and participate in the creation and distribution of literature. This includes ensuring that authors from underrepresented communities are given the same opportunities and resources as their more privileged counterparts. It also involves promoting fair and just compensation for authors, regardless of their background or identity.
Inclusion in the book industry means everyone feels valued and included, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ability. An inclusive industry values the diversity of its workforce, and it encourages the free exchange of ideas and perspectives. Inclusion also means ensuring that all readers have access to literature, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographic location. Socioeconomic status can restrict access to vital materials, giving an unfair disadvantage to our society to partake in further education and training across the nexus that is our industry.
"Books are vital vehicles to access, transmit and promote education, science, culture, and information worldwide."
We are in the business of bringing people together. That ability comes with great power to create tremendous societal change. UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, quality education, is one that we can rally behind to reduce inequalities in education and ensure access for all. We must diversify our editorials and educational materials and ensure socioeconomic status is not a barrier to progress. The efforts of the business events community will have a ripple effect that extends far beyond our organisations and helps to create a more equitable and inclusive society as a whole.
DEI is crucial to the values of World Book and Copyright Day, and business events can play a vital role in promoting these principles.