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We aim to be:

  • A diverse company – a company that reflects the societies in which we operate. We want to attract the very best candidates, at all levels, regardless of race, gender, age, physical ability, religion or sexual orientation. We do not set specific, numerical targets for recruitment or promotion of particular groups, but we place great emphasis on ensuring that the pool of applicants for our jobs is diverse.
  • A fair company – where pay, retention, promotions and redundancies are determined without discrimination.
  • A company, which uses diversity to help achieve our commercial goals and targets new opportunities in growing markets.

Our goals are to have diversity at the heart of everything we do and to be at least the best in our industry for diversity. When we say 'diversity', we mean we have a workforce and client base where differences are valued and respected as an essential part of a successful future at Pearson. To be the best we can be, we need the widest range of minds and imaginations from the widest range of backgrounds right across the company: in every business; in every country; in every job. That's why diversity within the company is a high priority. And the more global we become the more essential it is that we value, and understand, what makes us different.

Since our 2005 report, we have made progress in the following areas:

  • Measurement: we have developed quarterly reports to executives focusing on key retention and promotion measures in their business. Our global employee survey was analysed for differences in response patterns. We have benchmarked our programmes against best practices through participation in surveys and studies by Diversity Inc., Catalyst and Working Mother Media.
  • Work with our preferred suppliers: in the UK, where we handle the majority of our recruitment through agencies, we have set up a preferred supplier list for recruitment agencies and worked with them to encourage more diverse shortlists of candidates. We are now working with a number of specialist executive search firms to help us with the diversity of our mid-career hires.
  • Internships: we have maintained our summer internship programme as a visible commitment to our goals on diversity. This resulted in 30% more interns from diverse backgrounds during 2006. The vast majority are keen to work for Pearson in the future and in 2006 we retained four interns in the UK from the scheme.
  • Recruitment: we continue to focus on recruiting talented candidates from diverse backgrounds by holding open days, attending university careers fairs, working with student societies and university careers services as well as reaching out to professional organisations in major markets to cast the broadest net for talent.
  • Websites: we are continually updating our diversity websites for both internal and external users with news stories from across the business. The website is available at http://diversity.pearson.comExternal site. The Pearson Education careers online site in the US was relaunched with a new focus on diversity and cultural programmes. This site attracted over 71,000 job candidates last year during 2006.
  • Training: we have a solid diversity training programme at induction level for our recruiters, managers and our sales staff. We have added modules focusing on topics varying from 'Microinequities' to 'MultiGenerations'.
  • Senior leadership profile: our top 100 business leaders are formally measured during the appraisal process, on how they are helping to drive diversity throughout their businesses.
  • Executive compensation: progress in diversity is now a component of discretionary pay for the Pearson Management Team reporting directly to Marjorie Scardino.
  • Supplier diversity: we have established a supplier diversity policy, which is currently being disseminated across the business.
  • Commercial achievements: we have enjoyed a number of commercial successes this year including increased revenues from the sale of Kiran Desai's, The Inheritance of Loss (2006 winner of the MAN Booker prize) and Zadie Smith's, Orange Prize winning novel, On Beauty.


Pearson's diversity efforts have been recognised with a number of awards:

  • Race for Opportunity Gold Award – we moved from ninth place in 2005 to seventh place in 2006.
  • In New York City, Penguin was honoured with the CityKids Foundation Partnership Award.
  • In the UK, Pearson Education won Diversity Employer of the Year award from the University of Westminster particularly due to the company's commitment to the Pearson Ethnic Minority Internship Programme.


We now have quarterly reporting in place across Pearson which enables us to track the success of our diversity policies. We report the following data quarterly:

  • The proportion of women and people from diverse backgrounds in management.
  • The proportion of women and people from diverse backgrounds participating in development programmes.
  • The proportion of women and people from diverse backgrounds leaving the organisation.

For more information on diversity at Pearson go to: http://diversity.pearson.comExternal site

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