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New Zealand Police win diversity award

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016, by Sheryl Blythen

The New Zealand Police’s initiatives to transform gender diversity within its ranks have resulted in the organisation taking the top prize at this year’s Diversity Awards NZ.   Diversity Works NZ Chief Executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie says the NZ Police were deserving winners of the Supreme Award, having gone to great lengths to recruit, retain and promote female officers in the past two years.   After independent reviews outlined a lack of progress in gender diversity, Police Commissioner Mike Bush and his executive leadership team introduced two major initiatives to attract, support and develop women.   A recruitment campaign aimed at women, which included targeted advertising and the ‘Women in Blue’ reality TV series, contributed to record growth in female recruits graduating from the Royal NZ Police College. Last year, 36 per cent of graduates were women compared with 24 per cent in 2012.   A Women’s Advisory Network has been set up within the NZ Police to support women’s development across the force and already there has been an increase in the percentage of women being promoted within the ranks.   These initiatives helped the NZ Police take out the Empowerment Award, recognising innovative responses to empowering women in the workplace, before being named the Supreme Award winner at tonight’s Gala Dinner at Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre.   “The work the New Zealand Police have done is not only developing their female staff, it’s allowing them to better serve our community,” Cassidy-Mackenzie says.   “It’s no simple task to change the culture of a large organisation, especially when you are dealing with an issue that has been impacting the workforce for a long period of time.”   “The New Zealand Police identified the problem, then made fixing it a top priority. Running several organisation-wide initiatives simultaneously ensured they made significant progress,” she says. Hon Louise Upston, Minister for Women, congratulated the NZ Police for winning this year’s top award.   “Diverse and inclusive workplaces are critical to New Zealand economic and social development,” Ms Upston says.   “On the back of the recent 75th anniversary of women joining the NZ Police, this provides another opportunity to celebrate how far we have come. NZ Police has demonstrated outstanding commitment to empowering women across their organisation.   “I urge other organisations to take note of what can be achieved,” she says.   Now in their 19th year, the Diversity Awards NZ recognise and celebrate the New Zealand businesses and organisations championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace – and reaping the benefits.   Entries across the nine categories increased 30 per cent year-on-year and Judging Convenor Sarah Haydon says the calibre and range of initiatives demonstrating workplace diversity was inspiring.   “Those that have been recognised as award winners tonight have shown leadership at every level and enormous energy to achieve incredibly positive outcomes. With the passion shown by all the entrants and their commitment to their diversity journey, it wasn’t easy to select the winners.”   Diversity Awards NZ 2016 Award Winners Supreme Award: New Zealand Police Tomorrow’s Workforce Award – The Mind Lab by Unitec Empowerment Award – New Zealand Police Skills Highway Award – Silver Fern Farms Limited Positive Inclusion Award – ASB Bank Limited Cultural Celebration Award – Unitec Institute of Technology Diversability Award – Hell Pizza Work Life Balance Award – Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Walk the Talk Award – Frances Valintine, The Mind Lab by Unitec Emerging Diversity and Inclusion Award – Downer New Zealand   Highly Commended Awards Fletcher Building Limited – Tomorrow’s Workforce Award New Zealand Tertiary College – Cultural Celebration Award MinterEllisonRuddWatts – Empowerment Award API Consumer Brands – Skills Highway Award State Services Commission for Government Women’s Network – Emerging Diversity and Inclusion Award    

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