Scholastic Canada | Diversity and Inclusion

About Scholastic About Scholastic

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

For more than 65 years, Scholastic Canada has worked toward a more just and equitable world for students and families. We renew that commitment each day, guided by the words of the Scholastic Credo:

We believe in:

  • The worth and dignity of each individual
  • Respect for the diverse groups in our multicultural society
  • Cooperation and understanding among all people for the peace of the world
  • The basic freedoms of all individuals — we oppose discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, creed, colour, sex, sexual orientation or identity, age, or national origin
  • Inspiring students to enlarge their concern for and understanding of today’s world and to help build a society free of prejudice and hate

In 2020, we committed to taking meaningful and lasting action to address systemic racism and social and economic inequities within our company, in the publishing industry, and across society at large. Now more than ever, the need for this work is resoundingly clear, and we understand its importance for the entire Scholastic community and the readers we serve in schools and homes across the country. 

We know that creating lasting change is challengingit requires boldness, commitment and decisive action, and we must be responsible and accountable in our efforts to seek it. We are proud to employ smart, engaged, passionate, and empathetic people who want to be involved in how this company moves forward in our efforts to change, and we are also grateful for all of the conversations we’ve had with parents, teachers, booksellers, librarians, creators, industry partners, and the community at large about these issues. We know that we have much more work to do in the years ahead, and are committed to sharing our progress along this journey.   

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy

In 2020, we hired our Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion who, over the past two years, has supported the company in developing and implementing a long-term corporate DEI strategy with the following three pillars: 

  1. Our Products: ensuring that our publishing and acquisition lists are meaningfully reflective of the diverse communities we serve and champion voices and stories that remain underrepresented in publishing
  2. Our Partnerships: forging meaningful relationships with community partners and supporting literacy programs and initiatives in underserved schools and neighbourhoods
  3. Our Workplace: creating and sustaining an inclusive and equitable workplace which enables all employees to thrive and attracts talent from a broad range of backgrounds

Some of the concrete actions that have taken place under each pillar so far include: 

1) Our Products

  • Implemented an open call for submissions for unagented writers and illustrators from all communities underrepresented in publishing, including creators who are Black, Indigenous, people of colour and/or belong to other marginalized groups 
  • Tripled our publication of titles by diverse creators and those centering the experiences of marginalized groups between 2019 and 2022
  • Elevated books by diverse creators through campaigns such as Read with Pride and Sharing Black Stories
  • Formed an Indigenous-led Advisory Team to inform and create learning resources in support of Truth and Reconciliation (2019)
  • Established cross-divisional processes and initiatives to support the execution of our DEI Strategy and to foster increased internal dialogue and learning 
  • Conducted representation audits for our publishing lists in both English and French (ongoing)

Current additional areas of focus: increased representation targets in publishing and acquisitions, outreach to new creators, expanded marketing and publicity for underrepresented stories and voices, company-wide representation audits

2) Our Partnerships

  • Promoted our employee volunteering policy and raised awareness about potential opportunities
  • Following our long history of donating books to many organizations, we donated 113,262 children’s books and activity kits in our ’21–’22 fiscal year (33% of these went to First Nations, Métis and Inuit schools, organizations, and communities across the country)
  • Collaborated with industry partners in the Canadian Bibliographic Committee’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Metadata Working Group
  • Provided scholarships to Indigenous post-secondary students interested in entering the publishing field through collaborative leadership on the Canadian Publishers’ Council Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force

Current additional areas of focus: philanthropic initiatives and reporting, new community partnerships

3) Our Workplace

  • Established an internal DEI governance structure including committee representation from employees and leadership
  • Supported the formation of Employee Resource Groups bringing together employees with shared experiences or identities 
  • Collected comprehensive baseline data from which to measure our short- and long-term progress on DEI initiatives
  • Implemented mandatory DEI training for all new and existing employees
  • Launched an internal DEI website for all employees featuring key corporate DEI initiatives; a curated library of resources of toolkits; training, professional development and volunteer opportunities; and a multicultural calendar
  • Reviewed our Internship program through an equity lens, including the elimination of unpaid internships
  • Examined internal policies, practices, and systems to reduce barriers to inclusion (ongoing)

Current additional areas of focus: targeted recruitment and outreach, manager training, employee retention, and career growth