November 9, 2021

Corporate Social Responsibility – Inclusion and Diversity

Doing More Together

Our ongoing efforts to promote inclusion and diversity carry special impact in two spheres where we are working to foster acceptance, empower progress and combat ignorance: (1) in the quality, inclusive learning materials and experiences we provide to customers, and (2) in our own workplaces. The Cengage Group Inclusion & Diversity Mission Statement, which reflects our enterprise-wide commitments, has been adopted by the entire Cengage Group organization and provides the framework and inspiration for locally relevant initiatives.

Affirming All Learners

With more than 4,500 Cengage Group employees located in more than 40 countries, and millions of Cengage Group learners and educators in more than 165 countries and territories, we are committed to creating education materials and learning experiences that affirm all forms of human difference. Our efforts center on recognizing and reducing implicit biases, being intentional in our learning design and including diverse sources of scholarship and authorship. When relevant, we also work to make sure our products and services leverage current events for even greater learning. For instance, Gale, a Cengage Group brand, helps higher education instructors strengthen students’ critical thinking around contemporary social justice issues using historical curricula through an innovative online instructional tool. We welcome opportunities like this to develop materials that reflect all identities, experiences and attributes, encouraging thought and dialogue that can advance society during and beyond important events.

In 2021, we took further steps to reach even more learners with enriching experiences by appointing Alexandra Bernadotte and Dr. Michael L. Lomax to the Cengage Group Board of Directors. Both Ms. Bernadotte and Dr. Lomax bring valuable expertise and are dedicated to increasing access to education for all students, especially underrepresented, lower-income and first-generation learners. Dr. Lomax is president and CEO of UNCF (United Negro College Fund), and Ms. Bernadotte is the founder and CEO of Beyond 12, a nonprofit focused on increasing the number of traditionally underserved students who earn college degrees and translate them into meaningful employment and choice-filled lives.

 Empowering and Engaging Our People  

Our Credo and Ethos guide all employees in their day-to-day work— with each other, and with the millions of customers we serve. Our culture is one that relies on trust, transparency, respect and inclusion to enable employees to feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work and contributing new ideas. Cengage Group’s leadership and employees are invited to help create and sustain an employee experience that encourages all members of our team to be their whole selves and feel a sense of belonging on our team. We achieve this in part through a variety of programs that create opportunity for learning, listening and involvement.

  • Amplifying diverse voices: Employee resource groups are employee-created and -led internal communities that provide personal connections and affiliations to promote diversity, openness, understanding, acceptance and inclusiveness, while contributing to the business by providing advocacy for, feedback around and insight into our strategies and plans
  • Engaging employees in our success: Our CEO, Michael E. Hansen, hosts weekly townhalls, many of which invite employees to “Ask Michael Anything” and encourage employees to participate in peer recognition programs. We also survey employees annually to determine their level of engagement, as well as understand how employees perceive the value of Cengage Group employee communications and manager effectiveness. In our most recent survey, 90% of employees indicated they are proud to work at Cengage Group. Employee engagement grew by 3% from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2021 and exceeded the Perceptyx engagement benchmark by more than 5%, indicating the high degree of commitment and engagement Cengage Group employees take with them to work each day.*
  • Fueling employee growth and development: With nearly $5 million invested in employee learning and development since 2017, Cengage Group helps our employees continue their education journeys and strengthen employable skills—through tuition reimbursement, skills courses and other training opportunities. We also focus on learning and development programs that enable collaboration, empathy, respect and an enhanced appreciation of the value of diverse experiences and thoughts within and across teams.
  • Supporting employee health and wellbeing: Cengage Group offers a range of wellness benefits beyond standard healthcare offerings. Employee Assistance Program resources, mental health coverage, work-life flexibility options, workplace gender transitioning support and inclusive facilities are just a few of the practices that promote employee satisfaction, wellbeing and retention.

* Our planned 2020 survey was postponed until early 2021 due to the pandemic.

Learn more about inclusion and diversity at Cengage Group.