The MIT Press IDEA Plan

for inclusion, diversity, equity,
and accessibility


The MIT Press IDEA Plan

for inclusion, diversity, equity,
and accessibility


These are the data and resources that we relied on to establish the baseline for EDI activities at the Press and to build our action plan.

Baseline demographic data

From the perspective of staff diversity, MITP is similar to the university press community as a whole. Several studies have looked at the demographics of publishing. The predominant characteristics of MITP’s staff demographics as of April 2021 were as follows: 79% white, 67% women, 79% heterosexual, and 89% non-disabled. The first figure below shows the baseline for university presses overall from a 2019 study by Lee & Low, and the second is specific to MITP. Clearly, the industry as a whole and the MIT Press itself can and should do more to attract, cultivate, and retain a more diverse workforce.

Baseline salary data

Based on a multiple regression analysis of variance conducted in March of 2021 using fully coded anonymized data, we looked at salary in relation to self-reported gender, ethnicity, and education level, as well as age and job seniority. The only statistically significant predictors of salary differences to emerge in this analysis were age and job seniority. There was a small positive correlation between non-white self-identification and higher salary, but it was not statistically significant (p<0.08). While it was helpful to establish that there are no pay inequities at MITP related to race or gender, this does not address the larger issue of low starting salaries across the industry and how it hinders efforts to attract and retain a more diverse workforce.

Highlights from the Survey on Inclusion, Belonging, and Well-being

Eighty-three percent of MITP staff completed a survey on experiences of inclusion, belonging, and well-being in May of 2021. Overall, staff reported feeling that their colleagues are kind, smart, engaged, quirky, and hardworking; that their work is challenging, interesting, and meaningful; that they value the autonomy, flexibility, and freedom they have in how they do their jobs; and that they are proud of MITP’s mission and impact.

The survey responses also identified key challenges and opportunities for improvement. A large number of staff reported feeling burned out and overworked during the pandemic. While this concern is by no means unique to MITP (e.g., Microsoft surveyed over 31K employees in January of 2021 and found that 54% felt overworked and 39% felt exhausted) it spotlights the need to support employee well-being in our current hybrid/remote context through further adjustments in our work practices and cultural norms.

Action plan

At the conclusion of her consultation with the MIT Press, Tara Robertson recommended several action items to support EDI and our antiracism objectives. Robertson’s recommendations focus largely, but not exclusively, on the employee lifecycle—recruitment, onboarding, career development, retention, and off-boarding. They figure prominently in the roadmap provided below, integrated into, and supplemented by, other ongoing activities at MITP that embody our commitment to social justice equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

On this website, we are sharing committed actions in the areas of Communication, Compensation, Hiring, Internships, Learning, Networks, Onboarding, Promotion Process, Publishing Ecosystem, and Retention. Each action area is paired with key implementation steps that MITP is undertaking over the next three years to support EDI, along with projected timeframes for completion. We will update this site biannually to track and share our progress and issue an annual report. In addition, we describe our ongoing EDI activities in more depth here.

Note, because MITP is a department of MIT itself (and, hence, MITP staff are Institute employees) changes in our policies and practices for recruiting, promoting, and compensating our staff can only proceed in close coordination with the Institute’s central human resources office, which regularly audits all Institute salaries for equity to make sure every unit at MIT is in compliance with the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act. We also benefit from a close relationship with and guidance from the Institute Community & Equity Office.