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The annual Diversity Awards NZTM have become one of the most significant awards programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand to celebrate excellence in workplace diversity and inclusion. Through entering the awards, organisations are showcasing a variety of innovative people initiatives and publicly committing themselves to be held accountable for tangible progress in building work environments where everybody is safe to bring the best version of themselves.

We have made significant changes to the awards programme in 2021 and we recommend reading all the information on this page before submitting an entry using the link at the bottom of the page.

Entries close: 3pm, Tuesday, 4 May 2021


Changes to the 2021 Awards Programme

For the 2021 awards programme, we are introducing three significant changes:

  1. New awards categories to align the programme with our maturity framework, aimed at celebrating excellence in respect of the specific organisational competencies required to build inclusivity in leaders and teams
  2. A focus on celebrating achievement in smaller organisations through recognising organisations with fewer than 100 employees in each category
  3. Recognition of the work done by our partner organisations and advocacy groups in celebrating inclusive initiatives in respect of specific dimensions of diversity.

Over the past three decades, the conversation about workplace diversity and inclusion has matured and we now have a whole ecosystem of partner organisations, advocacy groups, awards programmes and passionate practitioners who are all working together in this movement for change.

That means that we need to keep reflecting on the Diversity Awards NZTM in terms of its potential to constructively recognise and celebrate the increasing maturity in workplace diversity and inclusion and amplify the work that is done across the ecosystem.

Through an extensive literature review over the past six months, Diversity Works New Zealand has developed a comprehensive framework of the specific organisational factors required to build inclusive workplaces. While a celebration of initiatives in specific dimensions of diversity is still necessary and of immense value, we realised that we could leverage this through the programmes delivered by our partner organisations, rather than duplication of awards. We have also realised that there are significant differences in available resources and the approach towards diversity and inclusion of medium/large organisations compared to small/medium organisations.

We are extremely excited this year to elevate our awards programme to celebrate the ever-increasing maturity in our workplaces and look forward to receiving entries that will inspire employees and leaders across the motu.

Awards Format

In the 2021 Diversity Awards NZTM programme, awards may be presented across four categories – Leadership, Diverse Talent, Inclusive Workplace and Mātauranga Māori.

In each of the four awards categories, there is an opportunity for an award to be made for:

  • A medium-large (more than 100 staff) organisation from either the private or public sector
  • A small-medium (fewer than 100 staff) organisation from either the private or public sector

The winners in these four categories will be eligible to be named the Supreme Winner.

In addition, there will be an Impact Award open to organisations whose core business it is to facilitate the provision of more equitable workplace opportunities.

Regardless of category, the judges are looking for organisations that demonstrate:

  • Innovation, leading edge thinking and unique approaches to complex issues faced in the workplace
  • Clarity on who is involved and who benefits from the work, process or programme
  • Quantifiable as well as qualitative measures of impact on business performance and employee engagement
  • Evidence of support at senior levels, as well as broad employee-level support – more than an HR programme, other managers are leads
  • Clear co-design and in-house team engagement – more than something that is outsourced to a provider
  • Clarity on the change management process, with challenges and iterations acknowledged.
  • Clarity on how organisations were able to use their brand and sphere of influence to promote awareness of the business benefits of diversity and inclusion across an industry, a sector or the wider community.

For specific judging criteria for each award, please see the 2021 Categories section.

Awards categories and the associated judging rubric are reviewed annually, taking into account prevailing diversity and inclusion concerns in the context of New Zealand workplaces, as well as dominant themes and developments in the global narrative.


2021 Categories

Leadership Award

A meaningful and effective diversity and inclusion journey requires adequate levels of support from the top of the organisation, which is more than a single sponsor or champion at the senior leadership team level. Leadership in diversity and inclusion speaks to a strategic approach where organisational design and processes are proactively engineered through a lens of equity, with all leaders (from the SLT to middle management) taking accountability for the kaupapa.

This award will be given to an organisation, not an individual.

In entering this category, organisations can choose to tell a story of excellence (showcasing best practice organisational culture) or tell a story of improvement (detailing the initiatives, process and trajectory for leadership to shift in their level of maturity in regard to diversity and inclusion).

Entries should not attempt to answer each of the questions listed in the judging criteria. Instead use these questions as a guideline of what could be addressed in each of the categories and then tell a coherent story across the various themes highlighted.

The overall entry should not exceed 1500 words. Additional supporting material should not exceed 10 minutes of video content and/or another 1500 words in written content.

Entrants will also be asked to provide other general information about their organisation, including logos and photos.

 

Judging criteria:

1.

The why

Please provide details of the rationale for diversity and inclusion in your organisation. What is the problem faced by the organisation that can be solved through improved diversity and inclusion practices? Include a clear link to strategy, real impact and opportunities identified for growth and development.

(250 – 350 words)

20%

2.

The who

How do you define your leadership team? Does it include the Board? Does it include middle management and team leaders? Please provide a demographic profile of your overall workforce.

(150 – 250 words)

20%

3.

The how

Please explain how the leaders demonstrate alignment of diversity and inclusion with organisational values. How are leaders held accountable for their commitment to diversity and inclusion? How is diversity and inclusion governed in the organisation? Did your organisation implement any specific programmes to improve the level of maturity of leaders to lead diverse workforces?

(500 – 600 words)

30%

4.

Impact

Please give examples of how leaders role model expected behaviours and the effectiveness and/or positive impact thereof across the organisation on developing a culture of safety in the workplace. Specifically, what is the role that leaders play in recruiting a diverse workforce and building an inclusive workplace? Were there specific teams and/groups that were more challenging than others, and what was done to overcome those areas of resistance?

(500 – 600 words)

30%

 

Download an example of an entry form.

Diverse Talent Award

Talent attraction and recruitment is a critical component in building diverse cultures and requires that all people involved in recruitment are sufficiently self-aware in order to avoid bias. The maturity journey in talent attraction and recruitment ranges from a place where organisations are unaware of the benefits to one where organisations proactively and purposely aim to ingrain diversity across the organisation through a wide inventory of best practices such as anonymous recruitment and/or designated recruitment.

Diverse talent can also be developed from within the organisation and equitable opportunities for career development is therefore a critical component of building a diverse and inclusive organisation. Research points to the numerous barriers that employees from non-dominant groups face in their journey to fairly move up and across organisational structures, including occupational segregation and pay gaps. A diverse and inclusive view of career development encompasses conscious efforts to build a culture where equitable-oriented efforts result in fluid transit of people across the pipeline, but also a culture where such movement is celebrated and acknowledged as important by all members of the organisation.

In entering this category, organisations can choose to tell a story of excellence (showcasing best practice recruitment and career development) or tell a story of improvement (detailing initiatives to attract and develop from specific diverse groups, or initiatives to improve processes to shift its overall level of maturity in regard to talent attraction and career development).

Entries should not attempt to answer each of the questions listed in the judging criteria. Instead use these questions as a guideline of what could be addressed in each of the categories and then tell a coherent story across the various themes highlighted.

The overall entry should not exceed 1500 words. Additional supporting material should not exceed 10 minutes of video content and/or another 1500 words in written content.

Entrants will also be asked to provide other general information about their organisation, including logos and photos.

 

Judging criteria:

1.

Diversity in the talent pipeline

What are the specific talent pools that you wish to attract to increase the diversity of your workforce? Why are these talent pools required for your organisation? How do you go about attracting applications from these diverse groups? Do you specifically design your roles in such a way as to ensure that a diverse range of candidates can apply? What talent and recruitment metrics do you use and how do you obtain information about existing and prospective staff demographics? Please include information which will assist the judges to understand unique challenges and constraints currently facing your workforce (eg. size, composition, industry sector, locations, structure, hours of operation etc.)

(400 – 500 words)

30%

2.

Screening and selection

Please provide details of the ways in which your organisation removes bias and barriers from the screening and selection process. Give examples of the challenges faced and how these are overcome in the screening and selection process? Please provide details of the overall candidate experience throughout your recruitment process. Do you do anything specific in your onboarding process to support diverse candidates?

(400 – 500 words)

30%

3.

Talent development

Please provide details of your overall approach to career development to build diverse and equitable representation across all areas of your organisation. What career tracking and development metrics to you use? How does your organisation approach equity in performance monitoring systems processes? Do you have any initiatives to reduce demographic pay gaps across groups? How are managers equipped to support talent development and performance monitoring across diverse teams? How is career progression celebrated in your organisation?

(600 – 700 words)

40%

 

Download an example of an entry form.

 

Inclusive Workplace Award

Modern workplaces require a new understanding of pivotal concepts such as teamwork, communication, decision making, employee relationships and, particularly, the way in which dissent and disagreement are expressed and managed. Healthy interactions between a wide range of diverse employees would be impossible without the conscious effort to equip people with skills and capabilities for inclusive collaboration.

Growing such skills cannot depend on diversity training alone and needs to be accompanied by specific interventions to bring knowledge into daily action to enhance inclusive collaboration, including purposely designed diverse teams, employee-led initiatives, diversely-led idea incubators and reverse types of mentoring.

One significant outcome from inclusive cultures is an increase in social license and the opportunity to positively influence social cohesion and sustainability.

In entering this category, organisations can choose to tell a story of excellence (showcasing best practice collaboration and sustainability) or tell a story of improvement (detailing the initiatives, process and trajectory for the organisation to shift in its level of maturity in regard to inclusive cultures and social sustainability).

Entries should not attempt to answer each of the questions listed in the judging criteria. Instead use these questions as a guideline of what could be addressed in each of the categories and then tell a coherent story across the various themes highlighted.

The overall entry should not exceed 1500 words. Additional supporting material should not exceed 10 minutes of video content and/or another 1500 words in written content.

Entrants will also be asked to provide other general information about their organisation, including logos and photos.

 

Judging criteria:

1.

Inclusive Leadership

Please give examples of how leaders role model expected behaviours. What is the positive impact of these behaviours across the organisation in developing a culture of safety for people to bring their best selves to work? How are leaders influenced to go on the journey towards inclusivity? Are there specific challenges in developing inclusive leaders and how are they being addressed? What are the decision-making processes in your organisation? How are dissent and disagreement expressed and managed in the organisation?

(250 – 350 words)

20%

2.

Inclusive Teams

Please give examples of inclusive collaboration in teams across the organisation. Are there any specific challenges in building inclusive teams and how are these addressed? How do you build healthy interactions between employees with significant differences in culture and values? How are individuals equipped to indicate if they feel excluded from the team dynamic? And how are such individuals and teams supported towards greater inclusivity?

(250 – 350 words)

20%

3.

Initiatives

Please provide one or more examples of specific diversity and inclusion initiatives that your organisation implemented to enhance inclusive collaboration. How were these initiatives conceptualised and implemented? What level of leadership support did the initiative attract? How did you measure success – please provide workplace and/or employee evidence to demonstrate the success of initiatives. How does your organisation deal with bullying and harassment?

(700 – 900 words)

50%

4.

External impact

Please provide examples of how the inclusive workplace culture in the organisation has positively impacted the external environment, such as stakeholder engagement, diversity in supply chains, customer experience and/or social cohesion.

(100 – 200 words)

10%

 

Download an example of an entry form.

Mātauranga Māori Award

A report by the Royal Commission on Social Policy in 1987 stated that “the Māori dimension is basic to New Zealand society and this must have profound implications for all social policy”. While New Zealand is home to many different peoples with different cultures, and inclusive workplace practices need to equitably provide for multiple cultures, the state officially recognises the unique status of indigenous Māori culture.

Bicultural sensitivity and an authentic acknowledgement of role of the Treaty of Waitangi as the cultural foundation to our evolving multicultural society is therefore essential in workplaces across Aotearoa New Zealand.

This award recognises an organisation that demonstrates an authentic response to fostering an understanding of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage, and the development of appreciation thereof across an increasingly multicultural workforce.

In entering this category, organisations will showcase a specific initiative that acknowledges New Zealand’s bi-cultural foundation.

The overall entry should not exceed 1500 words. Additional supporting material should not exceed 10 minutes of video content and/or another 1500 words in written content.

Entrants will also be asked to provide other general information about their organisation, including logos and photos.

 

Judging criteria:

1.

The initiative

Please provide an outline of the initiative to foster an increased level of sensitivity towards and appreciation of New Zealand’s unique culture and heritage across your multicultural workforce. How was this initiative identified and how is this relevant in terms of your organisation’s strategy? Include information about your organisation which will assist the judges to understand unique challenges and constraints currently facing your workforce. (eg size, composition, industry sector, locations, structure, hours of operation etc.)

(250 – 350 words)

20%

2.

Implementation

How was the initiative developed and introduced to the workforce? How was it implemented? How do you ensure authenticity in participation in this initiative across your organisation?

(200 – 300 words)

15%

3.

Support

Please provide details of how the initiative is supported by the leaders/managers of the organisation. How is this support visible? Who is accountable for the success of the initiative?

(200 – 300 words)

15%

4.

Workplace evidence

Please provide details of how the initiative has benefited the workplace/organisation. Ideally this will include quantifiable evidence of improved performance as well as qualitative feedback from senior staff.

(300 – 400 words)

25%

5.

Employee evidence

Please show us how the initiative has benefited the employees. Ideally this will include quantifiable evidence of staff advancement as well as qualitative feedback or statements from employees impacted by the initiative.

(300 – 400 words)

25%

 

Download an example of an entry form.

Impact Award

Across Aotearoa New Zealand, there are many organisations whose core business it is to facilitate the provision of more equitable workplace opportunities. These organisations predominantly operate as social enterprises, advocacy groups and/or not-for-profit entities, and are essential to the momentum of diversity and inclusion.

This award honours purpose-led organisations that have a significant impact on diversity and inclusion at industry level, and is only open to organisations in the private and/or charitable sectors.

In entering this category, eligible organisations will tell the story of how their work is contributing positively to an increased level of diversity and inclusion in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The overall entry should not exceed 1500 words. Additional supporting material should not exceed 10 minutes of video content and/or another 1500 words in written content.

Entrants will also be asked to provide other general information about their organisation, including logos and photos.

 

Judging criteria:

1.

Organisational overview

Please provide an outline of your organisation. Include information about the context, purpose and type of organisation to assist the judges to understand the unique challenges and constraints within which you work. (eg size, composition, industry sector, locations, structure, hours of operation etc.), and how this is relevant to promoting diversity and inclusion in Aotearoa New Zealand.

(250 – 350 words)

20%

2.

Theory of change

Who are you seeking to influence or benefit? What is standing in your way? What benefits are you seeking to achieve? When are you planning to achieve these benefits? Who are you partnering with in achieving the intended outcome? When are you planning to achieve the outcomes?

(400 – 500 words)

30%

3.

Key workstreams

Show us how this work was informed in collaboration with others to ensure it meets the needs of Aotearoa New Zealand. What are the key workstreams and projects that you are implementing to effect change?

(300 – 400 words)

25%

4.

Evidence of success

Please provide details of how your work has positively impacted your target audience. Ideally this will include quantifiable evidence of improved performance as well as qualitative feedback from beneficiaries and/or policy makers. How do you amplify and celebrate the success of your partners in the same field of work?

(300 – 400 words)

25%

 

Download an example of an entry form.

Supreme Award

The Supreme Award will be selected from the winners of the Leadership, Diverse Talent, Inclusive Workplace and Mātauranga Maori awar category, taking into account:

  • Complexity of the problem addressed and barriers overcome through implementation
  • Resource limitations and creative solutions employed to achieve results within financial and time constraints
  • Potential to activate change at a larger scale beyond the immediate workplace

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know which category to enter?

Our category descriptions section has lots of information and detailed judging criteria. You can also sign up for one of our Awards Entry Assistance workshops to find out more about the new award categories – we are running them face-to-face in Auckland and online.

Can we enter more than one category?

Yes. All entries submitted must fulfil the entry requirements of the chosen category.

Can we enter a programme of work we are running in an overseas office?

No, entries must relate to workplace diversity and inclusion programmes or initiatives benefitting employees who are resident and working in New Zealand.

We are a previous winner – can we enter this again?

Yes, but if you are entering a programme or initiative that has previously won a Diversity Awards NZ™ category or been highly commended by the judging panel, you must provide evidence of significant new development.

Our business supplies services that increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Can we enter the awards?

The Impact category is open to organisations in the private and/or charitable sectors whose core business is to facilitate the provision of more equitable workplace opportunities.

Our organisation does work in the community to support diversity and inclusion. Can we enter those programmes?

No, entries must provide evidence of how your organisation is advancing a culture of diversity and inclusion within the New Zealand workplace.

Should we enter under our organisation’s name or the name of the programme or initiative?

Entrants will be referred to by the name they entered under on the official online entry form throughout the awards programme and on all subsequent awards collateral or marketing material produced to support the awards programme. Entering these awards sends a signal to the workforce that you are a business that values diversity and inclusion so it’s preferable to enter under your organisation’s name, enhancing your employer brand. Please ensure all names and titles are correct as they cannot be changed halfway through the programme.

I started an entry, but I can’t find it.

If you saved your entry in our online entry platform, you would have received an email with a resume link that takes you back to finish it. If you can’t find it, check your email junk folder. If you still can’t find it, you will have to begin your entry again.

I have saved my pdfs and files but every time I go back into my entry, I can’t see them.

Attachments must be uploaded to the system once you are ready to submit your entry. They won’t be saved until that point.

I can’t load my video file

Due to the size of video files, we can’t host them in our system. If you would like to show our judges a video to support your entry, upload it to a video sharing platform such as YouTube or Vimeo and include the link in the video field of the entry form.

How can I add more photos or evidence files?

We are happy for you to email us extra photos to awards@diversityworksnz.org.nz – please include the name of the organisation and the entry category the photos illustrate. We allow entrants to submit up to six PDFs as supporting evidence for each entry to ensure reviewing entries is manageable for our judges. Supporting evidence must not exceed 1500 words.

Can I just upload or send a PDF or hard copy of my entry?

No, a separate online entry form is required to be submitted for each award entered, using the text fields supplied. Please keep to the word limit of 1500 words. However, you can supply up to another 1500 words in supporting evidence as PDFs within the form.

Why do we need to provide photographs?

We use entrant photographs to illustrate the case studies produced for finalists and the annual magazine we create to showcase our award winners.

Do you have finalists?
Yes, finalists will be announced in after entries close.

What happens if I am a finalist?
Our team will be in touch to let you know when representatives from our judging panel can do a physical or online site visit. We will also work with you to create a short video of the work you are doing.

When will we find out if we have won?

We plan to announce our winners at an event in September. Make sure you have signed up for our newsletters and we will keep you posted with all the details.

Terms and Conditions

The owner and organiser for the Diversity Awards NZ™ is the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust, trading as Diversity Works New Zealand, Level 1, 90 Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand 1010.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. Entries close at 3pm NZST, Tuesday,4 May 2021.

  2. Entries must be from organisations operating in New Zealand.
  1. Entries must relate to workplace diversity and inclusion programmes benefitting employees who are resident and working in New Zealand.

  2. Entries in the Impact Award are open to organisations in the private and/or charitable sectors.

  3. All entries must be submitted through the official online entry form and process.
  • All entries submitted must fulfil the entry requirements of the chosen award.
  • Entrants will be referred to by the name they entered under on the official online entry form throughout the awards programme and on all subsequent awards collateral or marketing material produced to support the awards programme.
  • A separate online entry form is required to be submitted for each award entered, using the text fields supplied.
  • Entries must be within the word limit of 1500 words.
  • Supporting evidence or images can be uploaded as attachments.
  • Supporting material should not exceed 10 minutes of video content and/or another 1500 words in written content
  • Supporting video evidence must be submitted during the online entry process as a link to a video sharing platform that can be accessed by the judging panel and those processing entries on behalf of the awards organisers. Video files submitted via a channel other than a video sharing platform will not be accepted by the awards organisers.
  • Supporting photos should be in jpg, jpeg, tif or tiff format. Maximum file size is 25mb.
  • Incomplete entries can be disqualified.
  1. Organisations can enter more than one category. However, each specific diversity and inclusion programme can be entered in only one category per award year.

  2. Finalists will be announced after entries have closed. Finalists will be allocated times for an assessment by the judges’ (this maybe a physical or virtual visit) and finalists must make themselves available at the scheduled time. The judges may, during the visit, request evidence to substantiate any claims made on the entry form.

  3. Finalists will be allocated a time for a video of their initiative to be filmed and must make requested personnel available at the scheduled time and obtain the required consents from authorised representatives of the organisation and the individuals appearing on camera.

  4. Case studies will be prepared by the awards organisers for all entries selected as finalists. Entrants will have the opportunity to correct any errors in these case studies. Case studies will be publicly available via the Diversity Works New Zealand website following the conclusion of the Awards programme and announcement of finalists and/or winners.

  5. The independent judging panel will be appointed by the awards organisers.

  6. All entry information and material submitted remains the property of the organiser.

  7. Entrants agree to allow the use of their entry information and material for publicity purposes and ongoing Diversity Works New Zealand promotions and will ensure they have obtained consent for any images, video footage or quotes to be used to support their entry from the relevant individuals and entities.

  8. By agreeing to these terms and conditions, you agree that the organisers can send you correspondence from time to time in relation to the awards process.

  9. Entrants will be encouraged to make themselves available without cost for publicity purposes as required.

  10. Entrants selected as finalists should be available to attend the awards Gala Dinner in Auckland or any other alternative celebration event as may proceed as a result of circumstances as they then exist. (Inability to attend does not disqualify entry).

  11. The award organisers reserve the right to:
  • Transfer any entry from one category to another if it is deemed advantageous to the entrant. The entrant will be notified of this change of category.
  • Disqualify any entrant deemed to have breached the above terms and conditions.
  • Disqualify any entrant that could potentially damage the brand reputation of the awards.
  • Withdraw any award or choose not to award a winner in one or more of the categories.
  1. Eligibility for all award categories will be at the sole discretion of the award organisers. Notwithstanding any other provision in these terms and conditions, the organiser reserves the right at its sole and absolute discretion to at any time suspend, cancel and/or modify in whole or in part any part of the awards process, the format of the proposed judging and/or videoing and/or method of celebrating the achievements of award entrants and/or finalists and/or winners.

  2. The Judge’s decisions around finalists and/or winners are final and the decision of the awards organisers around the shape of the programme and the nature of the celebrations are also final. No correspondence will be entered into in either case.

  3. The issuance of these terms and conditions does not constitute an offer by the organisers that is capable of acceptance by any entrant. Each entrant, by submitting their award entry, acknowledges and agrees that the award process (and any suspension, cancellation or modification of it) will not result in the organiser incurring any obligations or liability whatsoever to entrants.

  4. Winners in the Leadership, Diverse Talent, Inclusive Workplace and Mātauranga Māori categories are eligible to win the Supreme Award.

    AGREEMENT OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  5. By submitting an online entry to the Diversity Awards NZ™, entrants are deemed to have accepted the Terms and Conditions.

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