Vector Limited was the Supreme Winner at the 2019 Diversity Awards NZ™, demonstrating excellence in more than one diversity category and a commitment to integrating an inclusive culture right across its business.
The energy and communications services provider also won the Empowerment and Diversability categories, which recognise innovative responses to gender equity and positive employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Acknowledging it operates in a male-dominated industry where gender diversity has been an issue for many years, Vector committed to increasing the number of women employed from 30 per cent to 50.8 percent to be representative of New Zealand’s working age population. It also developed a Women in Leadership programme, to identify and grow female leadership at all levels of the organisation and undertook a pay equity audit.
In the disability space, the company realised there was a gap between its policies and its goal of becoming a truly accessible workplace. It set about to close that gap with a raft of changes including making workspaces more accessible and introducing new technology for hearing and sight-impaired employees, revising recruitment practices, training senior staff in unconscious bias and supporting employees with mental health challenges.
Judging Convener Neil Porteous says senior level support for workplace inclusion at Vector and an active employee-led Diversity Council ensured ideas and initiatives were actioned, providing benefits to a significant proportion of its workforce.
“It’s fantastic to see a large organisation in a male-dominated industry making a genuine commitment to improving gender equity and showing the way for other large organisations to stop seeing employment of people with disabilities as a burden.”