At the Innovation SuperNetwork we have always been passionate advocates of diversity, recognising that innovation happens when people from different backgrounds and with different perspectives come together.
In 2018 we launched our ‘Women in Innovation’ programme. With the help of funding from the Northstar Foundation, we worked with SME’s from across the region to deliver free, non-judgemental unconscious bias workshops as part of a wider peer-to-peer learning initiative to tackle gender bias in the workplace.
Since then we have listened to feedback from the programme and agree there is more work to be done in broadening the scope of the diversity conversations we have through our work on Unconscious Bias, tackling all systemic discrimination.
In line with this work, our commitment to diversity is also seen across the board at our events and in our business support programmes.
We make a continued effort to provide a platform for innovative people from all backgrounds. Our speakers, panellists, exhibitors and experts are from all sections of society and we are committed to addressing imbalance where we see it.
Additionally our Innovation Finance work is committed to redressing gender balance, improving the diversity of our angel investor network and the amount of investment into female and minority-led businesses.
There is a long way to go, but together we can make a difference.
Training for SMEsUnderstanding more about diversity can help stimulate business growth. The workshops are a forum for discussion to help North East businesses recognise and share best-practice, while identifying ways to support equality in the workplace, address bias and initiate long-term change. If you'd like your business to undertake Unconscious Bias training or you'd like to learn more, contact us.
Increasing investing by and for women in businessMore than 90% of Angel investors in the UK are men. Through our work with the Newcastle Angel Hub as part of our Access to Finance Programme we have set up a 'Women Investors Group' to bring more prominence to female investors and to encourage more women into investing. The focus on tackling gender equality in this way has resulted in almost 40% of applications from investors to join the Newcastle Angel Hub coming from women.