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Valuing diversity of experience, culture and thinking

Satellite Applications Catapult takes great pride in the cultural diversity of its employees and through a recent ‘all employee’ survey, it has embarked on a more deliberate and planned approach to true inclusivity.

of staff completed the employee survey
Over 30%
of employees are the first in their family to attend university

Focusing on the everyday human experience

The world we serve is amazingly diverse and Satellite Applications Catapult knows that diversity in experience, culture and thinking are essential to fulfilling their unique mission. This ambition means they are not solely focused on traditional diversity metrics, although this plays a role, but ensuring that everyone, everyday can bring their full self to work and be valued for that rather than judged, slighted, or overlooked.

More recently this journey has been informed with a frank qualitative and quantitative look at the Catapult’s workforce in a recent ‘Who we are’ employee survey.

  • 75% of the Catapult’s employees completed the ‘Who we are’ employee survey, which is excellent for an externally hosted online employee survey.
  • The survey responses highlighted that at the Catapult just under two thirds of employees are the first in their family to attend university – for what is a knowledge-based organisation, this is very interesting, and demonstrates how quickly change can occur.

The findings of the survey will inform the next steps in the development of their equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) strategy, whilst recognising they need to be smart and considered about where energy is focused.

One of the new prioritised actions is to reform the Catapult’s EDI group to ensure better representation from all levels of the business and across all functions while also ensuring diversity of experience is included. Currently the Catapult has a Leadership Team EDI group as well as a ‘grass roots’ group and the intention will be to bring these together to create a single clear focus and energy for the organisation. One of the early requirements of the combined group will be to crystalise and share its core intent with employees which will be directly aligned to their business strategy.

Current thinking is to create a focus on the everyday human experience at work and those transgressions that occur without malice or bad intent but are none the less impactful. This could include for example, assuming an employee without children is happy to work late as they have no family to take care of, or assuming a mother who picks up children from school, and therefore insists on leaving the meeting on time, is less committed.

Other areas under consideration are reviewing their reward framework and recruitment practices to remove biases where they can occur. The Catapult wants to leverage the application of artificial intelligence in recruitment by utilising platforms that review adverts and job descriptions for language, words, and patterns that has the potential to dissuade individuals from applying for roles.

This, of course, is just the start, and the Catapult will also be focusing on their core values to support their inclusion activities that will include a thorough method of measuring and evaluating their progress.

I think we sometimes lose sight that, whilst ethnically we’re not that diverse, compared to other organisations I’ve worked in, culturally we are – we need to do more to celebrate and recognise that

Satellite Applications employee survey response