Diverse Voices

Get to know Jackson!

Jackson is serving both the authors and readers by ensuring that every voice is given a platform to be heard.

Who are you and what do you do in your company?

My name is Jackson Howard and I’m an editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG).

What does diversity, equity and inclusion mean to you and why is that important to you?

Diversity, equity and inclusion is more than words and promises; it’s a commitment to making sure every voice is heard, eliminating biases, and working not in an idealized version of what we want the world to be, but beginning with the often uncomfortable truths of where we are, which, frankly, is an extremely unequal world and society. DEI means factoring that inequality and historical negligence and oppression into every decision and interaction and publishing choice.  

Can you describe a specific instance or initiative within the company that demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion?

FSG’s fellowship for a writer from an underserved community is a great example of making change, one person at a time, with real intention and action. By providing a writer money, mentorship, and structure, we’re hoping to slowly change not only what books are published, but how publishing looks and works.

What are DEI issues that are most important to you and why?

Making publishing more diverse is not as simple as publishing more underrepresented authors, though that is a big part of it. It’s also about educating ourselves and our colleagues, creating an environment for every type of author to feel welcome and heard, and putting in the work to reach out and target audiences not typically reached historically by the industry. Those efforts take work, and time, and need to be prioritized. Nothing makes me happier than getting my authors‘ books into the hands of the people who want to read them.  

What steps has the company taken to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for employees from different backgrounds?

I’ve enjoyed participating in FSG’s DEI group, and I’ve been really happy to see Macmillan’s committment to smaller groups, such as our Pride group.

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