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BAWiP’s Commitments to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
April, 2023

BAWiP is committed to cultivating a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible publishing industry. We define “diverse” as inclusive of race, gender, ability, age, beliefs, identity, sexuality, national origin, and professional and life experience. 


Assessment and Reporting: In order to make progress on our DEI goals, we need to be assessing where we are and reporting on our progress. We commit to annual surveys of our board, committee members, and general membership. And we commit to reporting annually on progress (or lack thereof) via our website and newsletter, to keep ourselves accountable for results.

To that end, we have set these agreements and goals:
Membership: Our goal is to support, reflect, and meet the needs of a membership body that reflects the diversity of the Bay Area. To meet this goal, we will focus on proactive recruitment of a diverse membership and a commitment to regularly surveying, listening to, and responding to the needs of our members from communities historically underrepresented in publishing. In 2023, as the membership committee moves forward with rebuilding and expanding membership drives, surveying members, and communicating with and supporting members. 

  • Current status: work in progress

Board Composition: Our goal is to achieve a diverse board makeup with at least 40% representation by traditionally underrepresented people in the publishing industry (including 30% representation by BIPOC women) by September, 2021. We are working toward this goal by actively recruiting committee and task force members to build a pipeline to full board service.

  • Current status: 30% of board members identify as BIPOC. 50% identify as LGBTQ+. 10% identify as living with a disability.

  • Current status (update, Dec 2022): 33% of reporting board members identify as BIPOC; 20% of those reporting identify as LGBTQ+; 13% of those reporting identify as living with a disability (invisible)

Speakers: We are committed to prioritizing diverse speaker-panels for our professional development events. Our goal is 40% of speakers consistently self-identify as from communities traditionally underrepresented publishing (including 30% representation by BIPOC folks) measured by board year. The events committee now coordinates both social and educational/professional development events, and, at the rate of one event per month, now hosts fewer author talks and webinars. The committee looks to collaborate with the RSA committee and the DEI committee to co-host speaker-driven or themed events.

  • Current status: For the 2022-2023 board year, we have three panel events and one author event. Of the four panelists for panel 1, 75% were BIPOC; the author speaker is African American; the second panel included 40% BIPOC; the third panel is 67% BIPOC.


Robin Seaman Award Committee: The Robin Seaman Award supports Bay Area women and non-binary people with cash grants to aid their professional growth and their efforts to make the publishing industry more diverse and inclusive. We are committed to building an award where at least 50% of the winners, judges and award committee members are from underrepresented groups in publishing. Judges for the Robin Seaman Award will be encouraged to take an implicit association test and must adhere to established rules and criteria for evaluating our applicants. 

  • Current status: 66% of our committee, 66% of our judges, and 100% of our 2023 award recipients self-identify as from an underrepresented group in publishing. 

Mentorship: Given that the publishing industry is stubbornly dominated by white folks, we believe it’s critical to support the entry and advancement of BIPOC professionals. To this end, we have prioritized the selection of BIPOC applicants to our mentorship program and have set the goal that 50% of our mentees self-identify as BIPOC. 

  • Current status: 100% of our 2021-2022 mentee cohort who completed our survey (50% response rate) self-identify as BIPOC.

Future Areas of Focus:

  • Supporting BAWiP board members, committee members, and general members with invisible disabilities

  • Accessibility of our communications, including email and website

  • Supporting BAWiP board members, committee members, and first generation college graduates

2022 Committee/Board Demographic survey update, key points:

  • We had 15 respondents this year (vs 19 last year); ~50% response rate to outreach email (low)

  • Our average demographic is younger this year (46% of those reporting are under 40, vs 32% of those reporting in 2021)

  • We have slightly fewer members reporting as LGBTQ+ this year than last year (21% this year vs 26% in 2022)

  • We have a slightly lower number of members who self identify as BIPOC (33% this year vs 37% last year)

  • Ten percent of respondents indicated that they identify as having a disability, vs 5% last year.

  • More of our reported board/committee membership (47%) identifies as being a member of an under-represented community than last year (42%)

  • We have a consistently highly experienced group, with 53% of members having worked in publishing for 20 years or more (vs 53% last year).

  • We have fewer executive level professionals this year, with similar ratios of mid and upper level managers (28% executive level last year vs 20% this year; 61% mid or upper level managers last year, vs 60% this year).

  • The bulk of our leadership team reports as working for small and mid size publishers, consistent w/ the numbers from last year (67% last year vs 64% this year)

  • Editorial and Marketing remain the two top types of roles represented by board and committee members (33% each last year, 36%/21% Editorial and Marketing this year).

  • Full results comparison doc can be found here. Survey data source docs are here and here.

  • Questions? Contact Cheryl Cechvala, 


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