Closing the 'Creativity Gap' - Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA

Information about the international media enterprise and it's corporate divisions RTL Group, Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr, Arvato; detailed information for journalists in the Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA's Press Center as well as everything about Corporate Responsibility activities at Bertelsmann.

PenguinRandomHouse | London, 05/04/2016

Closing the 'Creativity Gap'

Subject: Society, Media & Services
Country: Great Britain
Category: Prizes & Awards

One year, one strategy, one success story – Siena Parker, Creative Responsibility Manager, Penguin Random House UK, has won the "Acre 365 Social Impact Award" for her achievements in shaping and delivering the publishing group’s creative responsibility strategy. The CR initiative "Creative Responsibility" aims to close the "creativity gap" in the UK: the gap between the creative potential of an individual and the ability to fulfill this potential. The initiative aims to promote young creative talents with entirely diverse biographies.

Considering the "extra mile"

The British Acre Foundation presents the "Acre Awards" annually to outstanding personalities who have achieved rapid social, environmental and safety impact in their first year at an organization. The judges said they had considered where applicants had gone the extra mile, over and above their job description. Siena Parker Siena received an Acre365 trophy and £250 to invest via the Kiva micro-financing platform, and all the shortlisted applications to Acre365 2016 will now contribute to creating a knowledge platform of best practices.

Coherent strategy for the entire publishing group


Siena joined Penguin Random House from Heineken UK in April 2015 as its first corporate responsibility manager, reporting to CEO Tom Weldon. After consulting with a broad network of colleagues, authors, agents, booksellers and readers, Siena developed the company’s 10-point Creative Responsibility strategy, which aims to help close the "creativity gap" caused by factors such as social mobility, geographic location and ethnicity that prevent individuals from having equal opportunities to fulfil their creative potential. At the heart of the strategy are a partnership with creative writing and mentoring charity, Ministry of Stories, and ten 2020 goals in four focus areas: Inclusion, Reading, Sustainability and Community. She shaped and delivered the publishing group’s Creative Responsibility strategy and achieved rapid successes, uniting colleagues of the entire publishing group to close the "creativity gap".

Enormous commitment of employees

Since the project was launched internally in November 2015 and externally in February 2016, Parker gave over 35 presentations to teams at Penguin Random House. Almost 20 percent of the London based employees actively participate in the Creative Responsibility activities, including 75 committed mentors for creative writing and readers at the Ministry of Stories. Four working groups headed by members of the UK management board, oversee the progress of the activities and report to a central Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee chaired by Tom Weldon. Almost one third of the board members have added corporate responsibility goals to their 2016 agenda. Aiming to make the initiative more visible in the public, the brands Penguin, Puffin and Ladybird will be more strongly integrated – a Penguin campaign accompanying the LGBT festival "London Pride" in June will launch these efforts.