The sea of rainbow flags that greets everyone who enters the offices of Yellow NZ Ltd sends a strong signal of safety, support and inclusion to the organisation’s Rainbow community.
Yellow is a print and digital marketing agency with a team of 150 working in Auckland, Palmerston North and remotely throughout the country. While Yellow has been striving for an inclusive culture, the business had not actively stepped into the Rainbow inclusion space.
This was addressed with a range of initiatives centred on belonging, awareness and education.
Mini rainbow flags and a badge incorporating the company logo with the rainbow colours were designed and made available to employees. In an intentional move they weren’t handed out universally; instead people were invited to help themselves to ensure the support was authentic.
Days of importance, such as Pride festivals and International Transgender Day of Visibility, were acknowledged and celebrated in the offices, and the company’s logo was altered to be rainbow across its social channels for the month of June.
A Rainbow Community and Friends space has been created on the company Workspace page, where educational and awareness posts, videos and TED talks can be shared. A Rainbow suggestion box is in place so people can ask questions, provide feedback and share views and ideas in a confidential way.
Darija Bulic, a member of Yellow’s diversity and inclusion committee, applauded the initiatives in a post to her colleagues.
“Many of you have rainbow flags glued to your monitors. We celebrate Pride and we’re genuinely committing to being awesome and inclusive. We’re building a safe, welcoming environment for all our unique people. We’re making sure that no one here ever feels like an outsider. I feel proud to be part of the team that cultivates belonging.”
People Experience Partner Jovita Stellmacher says everything implemented under Rainbow inclusion has received support from the executive leaders, who speak at events, display Rainbow flags and badges, and provide financial support. There has also been support from right across the company.
“This support comes from all corners of Yellow – from those who identify as belonging to the Rainbow community, those who are allies, people from various religious and cultural backgrounds, and people across all ages. The support has been wholehearted and authentic,” she says.
“The work we have done in the Rainbow inclusion space has bought about a deeper sense of belonging and connectedness for our people. It has empowered people to be open-minded, empathetic and inclusive regardless of their connection to the Rainbow community.
“Our staff who identify as belonging to the Rainbow community have experienced a huge lift in their sense of belonging and they are more openly talking about their personal lives as they feel safe to share their stories.”
The increased sense of belonging was reflected in the latest diversity and inclusion survey results which saw a positive increase across all areas including sense of belonging, views on diversity at Yellow, and pride in the organisation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.