As a result of the restrictions imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult recognised that their employees had to learn to adapt quickly to the pressures of different social and working environments, including the potential stress of working from home isolation.
The Catapult responded by implementing an end-to end approach that looks at mental health more holistically, actively engaging in additional ways of supporting their employees’ mental health and wellbeing by offering a number of industry recognised support tools.
This has involved training a dedicated group of 20 Mental Health First Aiders from across the business which included their CEO, 3 senior managers and 16 employees split equally across their three sites. This is in addition to the company’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) that is already in place. The Catapult is also implementing a mental health and wellbeing platform to enable its employees to have the use of a peer-to-peer, clinically managed online platform to assist them in looking after their own mental health.
Supporting their employees’ mental health and wellbeing is just one example of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s evolving equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy. The Catapult is working within a fast-evolving industry that has been growing very quickly over the past few years. Statistically within the biotech industry, the overall gender balance has evolved from 50:50 in 2014 to a higher level of female representation at more than 53% in 2020. This is in comparison with the overall level of female representation compared to the US biopharma industry study which showed only a 46% female representation1.
The Catapult has worked hard to ensure that the diversity of employees across all levels reflects the true position within the UK. Currently the Catapult’s male/female employee balance sits at 55% female employees to 45% male employees which is well above the industry standard.
As part of their longer-term EDI strategy the Catapult is conducting a project aimed at evaluating the current position across the organisation to help inform progressive changes and improvements to their approach. As part of this project, the Catapult has:
Having initiated the project to evaluate where the organisation is on its EDI journey, the Catapult has set out key aims that they want to achieve through these initiatives. These are to: