Digital Catapult’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) activities have continued to grow over the last years, partnering with Inclusive Employers to run workshops and training sessions with staff and promoting a culture of EDI across internal networks.
This has included inclusive leadership training for all line managers and webinars supporting topics related to Black Lives Matter and Pride. The Catapult is a very multicultural organisation with 27 nationalities represented and they are proud of their open and inclusive approach to hiring, believing that building a truly diverse team benefits everyone who works at the Catapult as well as their partners.
In 2020, the Catapult conducted research on how they can continue to build their EDI programme, to work towards achieving an accreditation under their Inclusion Standard. This led to the establishment of the Employee Voice Network, created to engage with and hear from all people at all levels within the organisation and different backgrounds.
As well as an established programme of work to create an inclusive organisation and culture where all employees can thrive, Digital Catapult is also ensuring the impact of these principles spread beyond the workplace. One key example is the CreativeXR accelerator programme developed jointly with the Arts Council England to provide prototype funding and support to creators working with immersive technologies in the Arts and Culture sector.
Through the CreativeXR programme, the Catapult dedicated time to a workshop on Making Immersive Experiences Accessible. The workshop connected creators on the programme with XR Access- a community committed to making virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (XR) accessible to people with disabilities, providing knowledge on topics such as inclusive design, dexterity and cognitive issues.
Furthermore, a number of the projects supported on this programme have enabled creators from many diverse backgrounds to tell their stories in creative ways. Some global stories have been highlighted:
o Munkination centres on the Khoisan tribe from Southern Africa combating the climate crisis in a hip-hop opera
o SONG explores the intersection of Korean Pop music, politics and military technology
o Blood Speaks follows the story of a Nepalase superhero who draws her strength from menstruation
o A Place to Be takes us back to the 80’s at the heart of a Carribean Shebeen
o Child of Empire sheds light on the partition of India – Pakistan
o New World uses the Amazonian rainforest as a location to tell stories for neurodiverse children
o Hatsumi creates a tool for people suffering from chronic pain
In 2021 projects continue to tackle important issues in the areas of sexism, neurodiversity, mental illness, racism, migration and the climate crisis.