Diverse Voices

Get to know Marios!

As a gay immigrant, Marios has experienced firsthand the significance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace—values upheld at Springer Nature.

What is your name and what do you do at Springer Nature?

My name is Marios Karouzos and I work as a Senior Publishing Manager for the Nature journals. My job responsibilities revolve around supporting the strategic goals of the Nature journals, with a focus on monitoring, understanding and facilitating their transition to open access.

What does DEI mean to you and why is this topic important to you?

Living in an equitable world is just such an obvious requirement to me that it always baffles me when I’m asked to explain the importance of DEI. As a gay immigrant, I understand how inequities can affect one’s life, well-being and mental health. At the same time, as a white cis-gendered man, I have a very good sense of how privilege can open doors and pave one’s way to success (and even more privilege). For all the reasons above and so much more, DEI is an important topic.

What helped you to feel welcome and comfortable at Springer Nature?

The moment I felt that my workplace was different, and that I felt comfortable in it, was when I was asked about my weekend and I could mention my partner without anyone around me batting an eyelid about them being the same gender as mine. The establishment of the Springer Nature Pride employee network was an additional strong signal that I was not only accepted by my peers but also supported by management and encouraged to be myself.

How important is support from colleagues and superiors?

My colleagues are those who make Springer Nature what it is. Without their support, both professional and personal, coming to work every day would be much more difficult and definitely much less fulfilling. The support of senior leaders is what sets the tone for everything that happens within our company. Having DEI be recognised as a pillar of our company’s strategy and feeling empowered to work toward that goal no matter one’s role or seniority is inspiring.

What does your company do to promote diversity?

DEI is one of the pillars of Springer Nature’s strategy. Together with the Sustainable Development Goals, they form the core of our values, mission and outlook as a scientific publisher. While there are many actions, programmes and initiatives that promote equity in the company, I would like to highlight the work that our DEI council and steering committees are doing to address equity issues both internally and externally.
One example of note is our Opening Doors Internship program that aims to bring in a diverse cohort of individuals to work in different parts of our organization, gain knowledge and experience, have the opportunity to network and become familiar with the publishing industry and hopefully become catalysts of change in the industry in the future.
Another example is a Nature Conference, organized in 2022, on the topic of breaking barriers toward gender equity through research that brought together more than 25 expert scientists, practitioners and policymakers and more than 1600 participants to discuss what research can do to promote an equitable future for humankind.

What do you wish for the future in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion?

I wish for a future where DEI is not something that needs to be justified or the motivation behind it be explained. I wish for a future where everyone is empowered to succeed independently of the colour of their skin, their gender, their sexuality, their disability or neurodiversity. I wish for a future in which we won’t need to think about “inclusion” or “diversity” because everyone will have a seat at the table and diversity won’t be something to achieve but something that simply…is.

Why is it so important that your company addresses the issue of inclusion in the workplace?

Humankind is facing increasingly difficult challenges and a sustainable future is not a given. If we are going to survive as a species and create a future world that we would want to live in then we need to bring everyone on board. We cannot afford to do otherwise. Our mission as scientific publishers is such an important one and we cannot hope to achieve it without making sure that all ideas and perspectives are sought after, considered and amalgamated into action. The scientific process is inherently a democratic and inclusive one. If we are to open doors to discovery, we need to be equally inclusive!

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