Our company purpose is to help people make progress in their lives through learning – or to be ‘always learning’. The use of ‘people’ in describing our purpose is deliberate in that this applies as much to the people that work at Pearson as it does to the millions of people who benefit from our products and services.
Pearson has always been a business built on ideas and as such relies on the minds and creativity of our people.
Last year, we set out that Pearson was a business in transition. 2012 saw a continuation of that trend:
- Digital and services business now account for 50% of revenue – up from 31% in 2007;
- Emerging markets. Revenue from our businesses in Latin America, China, India, Africa and the Middle East has tripled to $1.2bn in the last five years. 20% of our employees are now located in these markets in readiness for further growth;
- Technology and services in education. We are changing from being a textbook publisher to a broad-based supplier of education technology and services as well as curriculum materials.
These are significant changes and have long shaped how we think about the structure of our business and the types of people we employ.
These trends will see a significant acceleration in 2013. As part of the vision for the company, Pearson is set to radically shift the pace of our focus on digital and services businesses with a special emphasis on emerging markets.
As part of this shift, we will group markets as:
- North America, by some distance our biggest market today and for the foreseeable future
- Growth, including China, India, Brazil and South Africa, which are new centres of gravity which can fuel Pearson’s future growth
- Core, including the
UK, Australia and Italy, where we are already strong and intend to stay that way.
Also part of our transformation is the combination of our consumer publishing business Penguin with Random House which we expect to complete during 2013. We believe that bringing together these two businesses is the best strategy to respond to the rapidly changing consumer book industry.
The seven priority people issues for us from a corporate responsibility perspective are:
- People development. Making sure that we offer the right development opportunities for all our people.
- Understanding the workforce of the future. As the shape of the business changes, so do our future skills needs. This means that some functions and roles which we currently have will no longer be needed, while new jobs and structures will emerge which we may not yet have considered.
- Data and analytics. As we grow organically and by acquisition, we need to be able to understand how we are changing both through hard data and by reviewing what people tell us about how we are doing.
- Collaboration and engagement. Having an efficient way for our people to communicate is important to our business success by helping us to work differently and more efficiently.
- Diversity and inclusion. As we internationalise and grow, so do the people that work for us. We continue to value and benefit from the insight and experience of people from different backgrounds, perspectives and ways of thinking.
- Wellbeing. We care deeply about the wellbeing of all employees and their families and we look to create opportunities for everyone to take steps toward healthier living.
- Health and safety. A duty we share with all organisations is to offer a safe and healthy workplace for the people that work for us.
These continue to be our priorities as our global education strategy develops.