Social impact is at the heart of our business and the design of our products and services. As part of that culture, we are committed to supporting diverse communities and for our own employee base to reflect the diversity of those communities. Beyond the communities who use or benefit from our technology, we also aim for positive contributions to our industrial, academic and supply chain partners, our local communities around our operations sites, and increasingly in the field of early career science and STEM.
Our teams: Diversity
At Oxford Nanopore, we actively recruit people from diverse backgrounds with varied experiences and perspectives, who truly reflect the global scientific community we serve. Diversity is reflected across our entire business practices, and this year there were 43 different nationalities employed at Oxford Nanopore. Our ambition is to build and maintain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in the workplace and across Oxford Nanopore’s value chain.
We know that our industry-leading technology would not be possible without highly talented people. At all times, we strive to attract the best talent available and provide opportunities for continuous growth at every stage of employee development. We are also committed to recruiting people from diverse backgrounds with varied experiences and perspectives. This is essential if we are to fully reflect the global scientific community we serve, and to bring the broadest perspectives to our innovation and operations.
We have zero tolerance for discrimination, harassment or bullying, enshrined in company culture as well as employment contracts and codes of conduct.
We undertake an annual gender pay gap review that has shown consistent improvement over the past years and have initiated new programmes to ensure employees of all genders, ethnicities and backgrounds have equal opportunities across our business. In 2020, we set up a Diversity & Inclusion Framework, outlining the commitments and actions that build and maintain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in our workplace and across Oxford Nanopore’s entire value chain.
Undergraduate and postgraduate: Supporting early career scientists
As we strive to inspire the next generation of scientists and provide access to our technology at an early stage, we support a number of education outreach initiatives. While COVID made some of these initiatives more difficult, we are now rebuilding these programmes.
Secondary school: STEM events
In 2019, we partnered with local charity Universify Education to launch a STEM event at our annual London Calling conference. The aim of the event was to break down barriers to entry into the industry for underrepresented A-level students. At the event, attendees were given the opportunity to talk to scientists in different areas of research, about their work and about careers in STEM, gaining invaluable advice from industry experts.
The students were also invited to attend talks of interest throughout the day and to try out the tech on show for themselves. More recently in 2021, we hosted an event at the London Stock Exchange, which again gave students the opportunity to get hands on with the technology and engage with scientists and employees at Oxford Nanopore. Then at London Calling 2022, our first live event post-pandemic, we had over 30 students join us for a full day of engaging and inspiring STEM activities.
Since 2017 we have been providing a pilot-scale programme to support community members who conduct education work; this may include projects to inspire secondary school students, or to teach undergraduates the skills of experimental design, data analysis or bioinformatics against a backdrop of in-classroom sequencing.
So far in 2022, we have granted 50 bursaries to help scientists speak publicly about their sequencing research using Oxford Nanopore devices, often including early career scientists who may traditionally have more barriers to speaking. They are aimed at covering travel, accommodation and registration costs associated with participating in events. They are available to researchers across the globe and, where speakers permit us, we also promote the talks to try and attract a wider audience to their projects.