Diversity in Publishing panel

University of Birmingham's Edgbaston Park Hotel - Fry Room
Lectures Talks and Workshops
Friday 19th October 2018 (16:30-17:30)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

Over the past year, there has been a marked change in companies tackling the lack of diversity and inclusion in both the publishing output and the publishing workforce - not solely in terms of race, but also tackling the lack of low SES, regional, and disabled workers. Some of the leading publishers in the UK have rolled out initiatives in the form of paid internships, traineeships, mentoring schemes and partnerships with organisations such as the Stephen Lawrence Trust and Aspire. But is the publishing industry really doing enough?

Recent graduate and trainee at Hachette UK, Mireille Harper, will be chairing a discussion on diversity and inclusion in publishing, alongside Samantha Lyster, Iram Satti, Obinna Chukwu, Andrew Isabirye. All UOB graduates, they will be sharing their stories, advice, and discussing the need for diversity and inclusion for all in the industry.

Mireille Harper is a Fresh Chapters trainee at Hachette UK, a leading publishing group comprising of Hodder and Stoughton, Orion, Little, Brown and many more groups. She spent twelve months training in Editorial and Marketing at Trapeze Books and Hodder Education respectively, following placements at Penguin Random House and Packt. Mireille obtained a BA in Modern Languages (2017). She also runs a creative agency, and is a freelance writer/PR.

Samantha Lyster was born and raised in Birmingham, the daughter of Irish immigrants. She is a former journalist, training with regional papers before working for The Times newspaper’s website as a digital editor. She is now a communications manager for a conservation charity following an MA in Environmental Resource Management, and one of her projects is encouraging creative writing inspired by interactions with the natural world. She writes auto-fiction short stories in her spare time.

Obinna Chukwu is a Sub-Editor on International Affairs at The Republic, which publishes critical thought on socio-political and economic issues relevant to the Nigerian and broader African affairs. Obinna studied at the University of Birmingham and obtained M.A International Relations (2017), and was involved with the Nigerian Society, African Business Society, Debating Society and African Development Forum.

Andrew Isabirye is a Metadata Analyst at Penguin Random House, working across its publishing houses to enhance the online discoverability of their catalogue and promoting the use of programming tools such as Python. Andrew obtained a BSc in Economics from the University of Birmingham in 2013. Upon graduating, he joined the Deloitte Consulting Graduate Scheme before applying his technical skills in Data Science and Analytics to the publishing industry.

Iram Satti is a commissioning editor on the Academic Law list at Edward Elgar Publishing. Iram read ‘English Language and Literature in Education’ at The University of Birmingham, obtaining a first-class honours degree in 2012. She came to Elgar in 2015 after working with Routledge (Taylor and Francis) for 2 years on their Student Reference texts. Iram is currently training for a half marathon, loves trying new foods and recipes, and also enjoys a spot of gardening.


The panel will be taking place in the Fry Room of the newly opened Edgbaston Park Hotel, located on on Edgbaston Park Road, a five minute walk from the main campus. For directions to the Edgbaston Park Hotel please click here.