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Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility

With more than 6,000 employees worldwide and a presence in more than 50 countries, OUP is conscious of its wider impact on society. This year, we carried out a range of charitable activities including donating a mobile library stocked with books to a South African school affected by fire.

Charitable Giving

Working in partnership to make education accessible


As a mission-led organization, we are committed to making a positive impact on the world through education and research. Establishing partnerships with organizations that share our values enables us to positively impact the communities in which we operate. In addition to carrying out some key activities with our existing charity partners, we also entered some new partnerships and projects in support of our mission.


In 2019, we collaborated with our long-standing partner Book Aid to support Syrian refugees in the Middle East. We donated £10,000 to a project that enables dissemination of thousands of books to refugees in Syria, Beirut, Lebanon, and Jordan.


In Lebanon, we also extended our work with Soutien Belge Overseas (SBO) to include a bespoke training module designed especially for their volunteers using our resources to teach refugees to learn English. Following last year’s donation of 1,100 OUP books, we wanted to enable SBO volunteers to get the best use of the resources and to teach in the most effective way possible. Along with the new training module, we also included an additional 230 books to supplement their supplies.


In the UK, we continued our work with our ongoing charity partners Crisis and ARCh (Assisted Reading for Children in Oxfordshire), providing funding and volunteer support. Crisis offers education and advocacy to homeless people across the country, while ARCh trains and supports volunteers to help primary school children who need extra help with their reading.


OUP South Africa celebrated ten years of partnership with the Mandela Rhodes Foundationa not-for-profit organization founded by Nelson Mandela, which aims to build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa. So far, we have contributed R83.9M (£4.7 million) to the foundation since its inception.


In India, we partnered with two new charities—Chudar Foundation in Chennai, and Ritinjali in Delhi. The Chudar Foundation provides education support at after-school centres in slum areas, and Ritinjali offers education and development to slum dwellers, prisoners, the financially underprivileged, and those affected by war and natural disasters.


In China, we entered a new partnership with edtech company Liulishuo, to jointly launch online English learning courses as part of Liulishuo’s social responsibility programme. We have agreed to provide our content for free as part of our efforts to improve access to education in rural parts of the country, where lack of quality technology-based education resources has resulted in slower learning for students.

Giving back by giving books

As well as our partnerships and ongoing relationships with organizations that align with our mission, we aim to support charities and educational initiatives through donating funding and resources such as books. Throughout 2018/19, we made a number of book donations to organizations, initiatives, and projects around the world. These included:


– 371,949 books to various charities across India, which reached roughly 5,000 underprivileged students

– 39,000 books to World Vision, Australia’s largest international non-government organization, to improve the well-being of children

– 35,000 books to 393 schools across 47 countries, in collaboration with the Rotary Club in Kenya

– 23,000 English language storybooks collected in a book drive by our China office, and distributed to children in South Africa

– 20,000 books donated to rural schools in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Hwangwe Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Project

– 8,000 books to Buk Bilong Pikinini in Papua New Guinea, to support the charity’s work in establishing libraries to teach literacy to disadvantaged children

– 5,000 books to Book Aid, separate from the Syria project to which we donated funds

– 539 books and 60 licences for our digital iTools teacher resource, to Panamá Billingue—the Panamanian government’s programme to improve English speaking in the country

– a mobile library hand-painted by OUP employees and stocked with books, to a school affected by arson in South Africa

230 books to Soutien Belge Overseas to support the education of Syrian refugees in Lebanon

– 200 storybooks to Reading Battle—a project which helps to develop Hong Kong Primary School students’ engagement with reading.

Diversity & Inclusion

Fostering inclusivity and wellbeing


This year, we established four Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committees and launched a range of initiatives designed to foster a diverse and inclusive culture at OUP.


The global OUP Women’s Network aims to facilitate the career progression of women by providing networking, mentoring, and professional and personal development, as well as creating a positive and safe space where colleagues can have their voices heard.


In the UK, our new black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) network aims to increase inclusivity and support diversity by focusing on professional development and culture, and bringing together colleagues around the organization, while the Befriender Network - which plans to extend internationally in 2019 - provides informal support to anyone returning to or continuing at work following challenges such as mental or physical health difficulties, well-being issues, bereavement, or supporting dependants.


In India, we partnered with a childcare service to increase support for parents working at our Noida office, while in Hong Kong we renovated a meeting space to create a nursing room and encourage a family-friendly environment.


Colleagues in Kenya undertook D&I awareness training around unconscious bias, mentoring, and understanding employees’ roles in promoting D&I, while our South Africa branch launched Transformation Goals covering humanity and diversity, respect and dignity, honesty and trust, communication and accountability, and responsibility and accountability.


In Australia, we established a regular D&I focus group to encourage two-way open and transparent communication where employees can speak to the branch Managing Director about what is and isn’t working in the business. Our Australia team also supported World Mental Health day through fundraising activities and a presentation from the Black Dog Institute, on mental health in the workplace, how to recognize early warning signs, and how to care for ourselves and others.

Creating career opportunities

We are committed to ensuring that all OUP employees have the opportunity to develop their careers and that our recruitment processes are inclusive and reflect the diverse markets in which we operate.


As well as introducing blind recruitment for senior roles this year, we also released our second UK Gender Pay Gap Report. As our figures are included in the wider Oxford University Report, this is not a formal requirement, but we choose to issue our own separate report as we are committed to working towards gender balance, through leadership development programmes, mentoring opportunities, gender-balanced job applicant short-listing, flexible working, and shared parental leave. We also entered a new partnership with the 30% Club to support the progression of our female employees.


Elsewhere we launched several career development initiatives, such as our Early Career Coaching Circles. This enables peer-to-peer development and guidance—either virtually or face-to-face—to employees in the early stages of their careers at OUP. Our Power of Mentoring event received an overwhelming response and was designed to inspire and promote the benefits of mentoring for employee career progression by sharing the real-life experiences of OUP people. Our Global Mentoring Programme offers all employees the opportunity to be a mentor or mentee, and currently includes around a 100 mentors globally who offer their expertise to help others with career development. As we are an international organization, this initiative has the added benefit of enabling employees to choose to learn remotely from someone in a different geographic location or culture, or from someone at a very different level of their career.


In addition, we offered 274 places for management development across ten of our locations around the world. Our aim is that by 2020, all managers at OUP will have experienced some form of management development, either by attending one of our various programmes or through online development resources.