Melissa Pilapil is part of a new wave of tech professionals who have joined the CBC in recent years. And while the sector is still dominated by men, she is seeing growth in the number of women entering the field. “We have a Women in Tech employee resource group at the CBC, with over 90 members,” says Pilapil. “It’s really empowering to see so many women interested in technology, and there are lots of opportunities at the CBC in tech. We’re doing some really cool things.”

According to Pilapil, the CBC has long had a culture of supporting innovation, with staff being encouraged to dedicate a portion of their work time to learn new technology that will help with their job. “The Innovation Sprint takes that one step further,” she says. “You end up working with other teams with different skills and backgrounds.”

During the Innovation Sprint, groups of staff put aside their day-to-day work for two weeks and instead work in teams to develop innovative ideas with the goal of increasing user engagement with CBC products. This helps to enhance current products or develop new ones. During the CBC’s first Innovation Sprint, about 24 ideas were pitched. Pilapil joined a team that created four games for the CBC Kids website, while another team developed a voice activation system for Android devices so that people could access podcasts and music in their cars, hands-free.

Encouraging innovation from within

“We have a lot of in-house talent and the number of ideas generated shows that people are thinking of new things,” says Pilapil. “To be given the freedom to stop our work for two weeks and focus on innovation was great. It gave staff an opportunity to learn and grow.”

The CBC is adapting to new technologies and sharing its digital transformation through the Digital Labs blog. This platform allows the CBC to gain insight from users, as it creates products that enlighten, inform, and entertain.

“Innovative thinking will keep us relevant in the digital economy,” says Pilapil. “We haven’t even scratched the surface of what we are able to do.”