Arts and culture enriches lives and brings society together. We want to ensure that amazing cultural experiences can be enjoyed as widely as possible by harnessing the power of digital technology.
The tech and cultural sectors (and we include Substrakt in both of these) are not diverse. We know that people’s experiences in the tech industry have been challenging, especially for those who do not fit the mould a majority of the tech industry shares. And we know that for very different reasons many people see the cultural sector as ‘not for them’. But we want to do our part to improve things so that whoever you are, tech and the arts are open and welcoming.
At Substrakt we believe that the best, most effective work is done by people who bring different experiences, skills and ways of thinking to the table. All our work is user-centred and if we don’t have a diverse team, we will never be as effective as we could or should be.
We want Substrakt to be somewhere that people can be themselves. Where they know they will be heard, valued, trusted and empowered to do their best work.
We know that diversity and inclusion is an issue that is much bigger than Substrakt. We know that there is much work to be done by us and by the sectors we work in. There will be points we have not yet considered and areas where we can improve what we have done already. This is only the start of that journey. We recognise we might not always get things right, but we will commit to never quitting, to continuously listening and to always be learning about how we can make tech and the cultural sectors a place where everyone belongs.
What are Substrakt doing to improve diversity in tech and the arts this year?
Putting our money where our mouth is
- We commit to making £40,000-worth of our time per year available to provide expertise, advice, products and services to projects and initiatives aimed at improving the gender and ethnic diversity of the tech and arts sector, at no cost. So far we have:
- Mentored with Code Your Future, a coding school for refugees & disadvantaged people
- Supported Tickets for Good, a company aimed at “helping events to distribute spare tickets to people in need through a network of charitable partners”
Got an initiative that we can help you with? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We commit to financial support for initiatives, events and projects aimed at improving the gender and ethnic diversity of the tech and arts sector. So far we have:
Know an event or initiative which would benefit from our support? Get in touch: email@example.com.
Understanding the importance of stories, the power of words, and the value in seeing yourself “on stage”
Working in the arts, we understand the importance of stories, the power of words, and the value in seeing yourself “on stage”. We want to showcase the people and stories that make up Substrakt and ensure we are taking care with the way we communicate.
- We will encourage people who have taken or are considering ‘non-traditional’ routes into the tech sector by showcasing the unique and non-traditional stories from our team and our wider community.
- We will not take part in events that have not made tangible efforts to achieve a balanced line-up of speakers that is representative of the sector, or city/country, the event is taking place for/in.
- We will take care to consider the language we use in our business communication. For example we will invite any individuals to specify their preferred pronouns during our hiring processes rather than assuming them. We will also endeavour to be specific when we talk about protected characteristics and avoid insensitive categorisations.
Recognising diversity and inclusion as part of our business goals, business operations and our responsibility to society.
- We have launched the Tech in Culture EDI Alliance aimed at signposting, sharing and discussing useful, insightful and effective information, programmes, work, and ideas across the range of considerations and questions that EDI encompasses.
- We have signed up to the Tech Talent Charter so that we can draw on best practice from other companies and work with other organisations collaboratively rather than competitively when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
- As our EDI policies mature, we will commit to setting meaningful diversity goals for our organisation and working towards them with honesty, intent and fairness.
- We have revised and enhanced our maternity, paternity and adoption leave allowances because we believe it’s important to support our team with their caring responsibilities.
- We commit to adopting inclusive hiring practices so that we receive applications from a more diverse range of people (you can read about some of the changes we have made). We are signatories to the Show The Salary pledge.
- We have enhanced our professional development and personal wellbeing allowances by allocating specific budgets (money and time) to these funds so that our team have the time and resources to invest in their professional progress and their personal happiness.
- We commit to programming a regular internally-focused workshop which will provide a space for our team to hear and explore from a range of perspectives to examine issues of bias, representation, inclusion and other barriers to entry to the sector.
- We commit to providing opportunities for ‘non traditional routes’ into the tech sector in the form of short-form internships and work experience.
- We commit to publishing data on the gender and ethnicity of our team on an annual basis to measure progress.
We recognise that this work is a journey, it is never ‘done’, so we welcome your feedback and suggestions. Got an idea of what we can do better? We would love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.