Giving work the big tick

By Matt Jackson

Programme makes workplaces more inclusive
Louisa Wall is congratulated on the passage of the Marriage Amendment Bill.
Louisa Wall is congratulated on the passage of the Marriage Amendment Bill.

The Rainbow Tick has the vision of making New Zealand workplaces the safest and most welcoming in the world for people from the LGBTTI ( lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatapui and intersex) communities.

Given the legal advances that have happened from homosexual law reform 30 years ago, to marriage equality in 2013, along with some easing up of the legal problems facing transgender people, you might think New Zealand is a pretty good place for the Rainbow community already.

But even though nearly all legal impediments have been removed, the fact of social stigma persists and it still takes a very heavy toll.

Imagine walking into a workplace and not being confident that you can talk about your husband or wife without being mocked or insulted.

Imagine being at work and knowing that for your sanity's sake you need to transition gender, but you're terrified of losing your job if you do.

These can all be all real concerns that members of Rainbow communities face.

We find there is often a disconnect between Rainbow community staff and employers.

Employers will typically say, "of course we want our staff to feel happy and bring their authentic selves to work", but they don't make this clear.

Going through the Rainbow Tick process sends a very clear signal that the organisation is open, welcoming and supportive of Rainbow communities.

Not only that, it identifies your organisation as somewhere that is generally welcoming and progressive.

At NZME we want to be able to be a place where members of the Rainbow community don't have to worry about their preference/style, but are valued members of our community.

Diversity is what makes a business great and at NZME we are proud to be working through the audit and making NZME a Rainbow Tick organisation.

Getting the tick

• Rainbow Ticks are awarded to organisations that complete a diversity and inclusion certification process.
• The certification process tests whether a workplace understands, values, and welcomes sexual and gender diversity.
• Tests are carried out on the practices and policies that manage the human resources of an organisation.
• Where there are deficiencies, training, advice and support is offered.

- NZ Herald

Matt Jackson is culture and performance lead - corporate and operations at NZME, publisher of the Herald.

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