Global learning company, Pearson, today announced the launch of the Pearson Gender Equality Guidelines, a first-of-its-kind commitment by a learning company to tackle gender bias and stereotyping in education.
Pearson will use the guidelines to develop all their future textbooks, digital resources and qualifications in a major step forward in supporting children across the UK to learn with gender-equal resources.
Pearson developed the guidelines in close collaboration with The Fawcett Society, the leading voice in fighting gender inequality in the UK, who provided independent guidance, feedback and training.
The new guidelines will help Pearson employees set appropriate gender balance and demonstrate how to actively challenge gender bias and stereotypes. Launched immediately across Pearson’s seven locations in the UK, the guidelines will be rolled out globally to their 22,500 employees in 70 countries over the next 12 months.
The guidelines were created by leading members of Peason’s ‘Women in Learning and Leadership’ (WILL) employee resource group. The group were determined to respond to mounting evidence of the long-term and negative impact gender stereotyping has on children, and to see Pearson play a leading role.
Pearson has identified 25 internal leaders in the UK to act as ‘Gender Equality’ advocates and, with support from The Fawcett Society, completed multiple employee training workshops. The guidelines are accompanied by a ‘Gender Equality’ checklist that will help teams practically adopt and track progress from conception stage through to final product.
When creating the guidelines, Pearson recognised the importance of designing them to be respectful and inclusive of women, men, and people with non-binary identities.
The guidelines will sit under the umbrella of Pearson’s Global Editorial Policy and alongside similar sets of guidelines on race and ethnicity, LGBT and diversity, equity and inclusion, all championed by their employee resource groups. Collectively, they form an integral part of Pearson’s wider commitment to being a fully inclusive and diverse organisation that reflects the communities it serves.
Sharon Hague, Senior Vice President of Pearson UK Schools, said:
"Gender stereotypes strike early and hit hard. The messages we give children, at home, at school and as a society, have a tremendous bearing on the choices we make. As the leading learning provider, Pearson has the power to support teachers to dispel gender bias, flip stereotypes and play an important part in opening up the choices available to young people. I’m delighted we’re releasing these guidelines and believe they will be an invaluable tool to help us build gender equal products."
Sam Smethers, Fawcett Society Chief Executive, said:
"We are really encouraged that staff at Pearson have recognised the importance of challenging gender stereotypes and want to play their part in making a change. These guidelines are a practical way to make a real difference. We are delighted to have contributed supportive challenge and review, and to train editorial and content staff in how to spread their use throughout the organisation."
For all media queries related to this release, please contact:
Pearson – Duncan Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fawcett – Natalie at email@example.com and 07769 666 627
We are the world’s learning company with more than 24,000 employees operating in 70 countries. We combine world-class educational content and assessment, powered by services and technology, to enable more effective teaching and personalised learning at scale. We believe that wherever learning flourishes so do people.
About the Fawcett Society
The Fawcett Society is the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights at work, at home and in public life. Our vision is of a society in which women and girls in all their diversity are equal and truly free to fulfil their potential.