In its fifth annual update detailing its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, Hachette Book Group reported that in a year when the overall number of employees fell compared to 2022, BIPOC representation inched up to nearly 37% of the workforce, from 36% in 2022. While diversity grew slightly overall, HBG acknowledged that it fell 1% at the v-p, director, and manager levels. To increase the number of BIPOC employees in upper-level positions, the company’s HR team is hiring a recruitment manager “who will focus on recruitment in communities with diverse representation to help us attract diverse candidates at all levels, with particular focus on senior hires,” the report states.

For a number of years, the majority of participants in HBG's summer intern program have been students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or other people of color, and that was again the case in 2023, when BIPOC students comprized 77% of the class. In turn, that outreach has helped the number of newly hired BIPOC employees at the publisher stay above the 50% level. In 2023, 54% of HBG's new hires were BIPOC, down from 2022 but even with 2021.

The report noted that since 2012, diversity at HBG has increased every year, with the percentage of BIPOC employees increasing from 20.7% in 2012 to 36.8% in 2023—a growth of 78%. And while BIPOC representation at the company remains five percentage points below that of the U.S. population, it is well above the 27.5% industry figure found in the most recent Lee & Low industry survey.

The publisher also continues its efforts to increase representation in its list, with the number of book acquisitions from BIPOC authors and illustrators who have yet to publish with HBG increasing by 10% in 2023 and total acquisitions from BIPOC authors and illustrators increasing 18% in the year. Amid criticism that the industry in general does not do a good job promoting works by BIPOC creators, the progress report stated that, in addition to diversifying HBG's publishing program, all its publishing groups remain committed to “continuing to improve their capabilities for marketing effectively to diverse audiences.”

Since taking over as HBG CEO, David Shelley has made improving the company's diversity a strategic priority under a program he calls Changing the Story. In the introduction to the report, Shelley wrote that the publisher remains committed to aligning its publishing and organization “with the diverse perspectives of the readers we serve.” He added: “It is imperative that we publish for all, especially those historically underserved by the industry.”

HBG is one of the few major publishers to report on its DEI progress. Carrie Bloxson, who joined the company in 2021 as v-p and chief diversity officer, said that the company will continue to “openly reporting on our efforts to address the critical diversity gap within our staff and publishing programs. Our annual reporting reflects our dedication and transparency in this mission.”