Four years ago, Lee & Low Books released the second Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 2.0) to measure inclusive hiring among the publishing industry’s workforce, looking specifically at race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. 21,753 publishing employees took the survey in 2019 — that’s 2,609 review journal workers, 17,100 trade publishing staffers, 1,528 university press employees, and 516 literary agents. The results of the DBS 2.0 inspired many conversations and initiatives to help build a more inclusive book industry.

It is survey time once again. This is an OPEN CALL FOR PARTICIPATION to trade, educational, and university publishing houses, review journals, and literary agencies of all sizes. Will your company participate in 2023?

The Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 2.0) was created by Lee & Low Books with co-authors Laura M. Jiménez, PhD, Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and Betsy Beckert, graduate student in the Language and Literacy Department of Wheelock College of Education & Human Development

Why is the Diversity Baseline Survey Important?

Without data, all our conversations about diversity in the publishing industry would be based on anecdotal evidence alone. The Diversity Baseline Survey allows us to discuss our industry’s lack of diversity in a concrete way, with a true understanding of the scope of the problem. The data also allows us to track progress as our industry grows and evolves over time. With the proliferation of book challenges and bans, the unifying message that our industry has a long-term commitment to becoming an inclusive industry is critical.

Why Should Our Company Participate?

High industry participation in the Diversity Baseline Survey sends the message that our industry takes inclusion seriously. In order for the Survey to be a success, we need the participation of as many publishing companies as possible. We also need companies that have participated in previous DBS surveys to participate again.

Participation is free and easy, and simply entails sharing secure survey links with all your employees. By committing to participate, you are demonstrating that your company cares about diversity and is invested in finding solutions. All participating companies will be acknowledged publicly, but rest assured survey data will only be released in aggregate form—never individually or by company. The survey will be managed by Toluna, a professional survey company and the data will be aggregated by two academics from Boston University. Individual answers to the survey will remain completely anonymous. Lee & Low will never have possession or have access to of any of the survey data.

Download the Diversity Baseline Survey Overview PDF to share with a decision-maker at your company and to advocate for your company’s participation.

OK, We’re In. What Happens Next?

  • Have your company representative or point person for the survey, email Jason Low, Publisher of Lee & Low Books, at to confirm your company’s participation. Individuals need not reply, as we are surveying entire companies.
  • Toward the end of May 2023, your company’s designated contact person will receive survey links to distribute to your staff. Full instructions will be included. We will provide wordage you can include about why the survey matters, encouraging employees to participate and affirming that their answers will remain anonymous. The survey deployment date is June 1, 2023 and the survey will remain live for approximately one month.
  • The survey data will be aggregated in late 2023 by two academics at Boston University and the results will be publicly released in at the end of January 2024.

Who’s Already In (as of 5/3/2023):

Trade Publishers (47 trade publishers participated in 2019)

  2. Arte Publico Press
  3. Beacon Press
  4. Candlewick
  5. Capstone
  6. Charlesbridge
  7. Chronicle Books
  8. Creston Books
  9. Disney Publishing
  10. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
  11. Enchanted Lion Books
  12. Hachette Book Group
  13. Holiday House
  14. Just Us Books
  15. Kids Can Press
  16. Lerner Publishing Group
  17. Lee & Low Books
  18. Levine Querido
  19. Mango Publishing Group
  20. Macmillan
  21. Microcosm Publishing
  22. The New Press
  23. Owl Kids Books
  24. Peachtree Publishing Company
  25. Penguin Random House/Bertelsmann
  26. Pixel+Ink
  27. Pomelo Books
  28. Readers to Eaters
  29. Red Comet Press
  30. Saffron Press
  31. Scholastic
  32. Simon & Schuster
  33. Tradewind Books
  34. Quarto

Book Reviewers (8 book reviewers participated in 2019)

  1. Bayviews
  2. Booklist
  3. Bookpage
  4. Foreword Reviews
  5. Horn Book
  6. Kirkus Reviews
  7. Library Journal
  8. Los Angeles Review of Books
  9. Publishers Weekly
  10. School Library Journal

Literary Agents: (63 literary agencies participated in 2019)

  1. Aevitas Creative Management
  2. Andrea Brown Literary Agency
  3. Ayesha Pande Literary
  4. Azantian Literary Agency
  5. The Bent Agency
  6. Bookends Literary Agency
  7. Bradford Literary Agency
  8. Bookends, A Literary Agency
  9. Bradford Literary Agency
  10. The Cat Agency
  11. Cheney Agency
  12. Curtis Brown, Ltd.,
  13. Donaghy Literary Group
  14. Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC
  15. Frances Goldin Literary Agency, Inc.
  16. Full Circle Literary
  17. Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency
  18. Jill Grinberg Literary Management, LLC
  19. KT Literary Agency, LLC
  20. Ladderbird Agency
  21. Laura Gross Literary Agency
  22. Odom Media Management
  23. Rees Literary Agency
  24. The Rights Factory
  25. Root Literary
  26. Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
  27. Stonesong
  28. Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, Inc.,
  29. Transatlantic Agency
  30. TriadaUS Literary Agency
  31. WM Clark Associates
  32. WordWise Media Services

University Presses (35 university presses participated in 2019)

  1. Amherst College Press
  2. Gallaudet University Press
  3. Getty Publications
  4. Louisiana State University
  5. University of Michigan Press
  6. MIT Press
  7. Princeton University Press
  8. Temple University Press
  9. University Press of Florida
  10. University of Illinois Press
  11. Marine Corps University Press
  12. University Press of Mississippi
  13. University Press of Colorado & Utah State University Press
  14. University of Pittsburgh Press
  15. University of Toronto Press
  16. The University of Wisconsin Press
  17. Vanderbilt University Press

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