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Top NZ food producer wins 2021 Diversity Awards NZ™

Thursday, Sep 23, 2021

George Weston Supreme Award winner

An organisational culture that encourages employees to act like owners of the business and celebrate ‘everyday moments of goodness’ has been recognised with the country’s top workplace diversity award.

George Weston Foods, the company that makes much of the bread eaten in New Zealand, including the Tip Top Bakery brand, took out the Supreme Award at the 2021 Diversity Awards NZ™.

The award comes after a busy period for the business, which kept safely baking and supplying fresh bread to supermarkets throughout Alert Level 3 and 4 lockdowns.

George Weston Foods, which was also the Inclusive Workplace Award Medium-Large Organisation Winner, strives to foster inclusive teams through education and initiatives and by promoting its values: safe, courageous, trusting and collaborative.

Diversity Works New Zealand Chief Executive Maretha Smit says, “This is an organisation where being human and being real is the lived reality across the whole team.

“It is a place with a fantastic diversity and inclusion strategy that does not remain on paper – they have a multitude of inclusion champions driving that strategy and the energy of the organisation is welcoming to all.”

‘Everyday Moments of Goodness’ isn’t just a slogan for George Weston Foods, it’s a purpose that’s brought to life through its values and the way team members are encouraged to act each day, Maretha says.

The company has also made a commitment to creating everyday moments of goodness in the community through a volunteering programme and partnerships with organisations such as KidsCan, which see more than 100,000 loaves of bread provided to schools each year.

The Diversity Awards NZ™ offer organisations an opportunity to showcase a variety of innovative people initiatives and publicly commit to being held accountable for tangible progress in building work environments where everybody is safe to bring the best version of themselves.

The 2021 winners were announced today in the first ever digital-only awards presentation in the programme’s 24-year history.

“We wanted to celebrate the incredible commitment our finalists and winners have made to creating cultures of inclusion and more equitable workplaces across Aotearoa New Zealand while following the Covid restrictions in place across the country,” Maretha says.

Here is a full list of winners:

Supreme Award
Winner: George Weston Foods

Leadership Award
Medium-Large Organisation Winner –New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
Medium-Large Organisation Highly Commended – Downer New Zealand

Diverse Talent Award
Small-Medium Organisation Winner – Hutt Gas and Plumbing
Medium-Large Organisation Winner – Ministry of Social Development
Medium-Large Organisation Highly Commended – Warren and Mahoney

Inclusive Workplace Award
Medium-Large Organisation Winner – George Weston Foods
Medium-Large Organisation Highly Commended – New Zealand Steel 

Mātauranga Māori Award
Small-Medium Organisation Winner – Te Ahu a Turanga Manawatū Tararua Highway Alliance
Medium-Large Organisation Winner – Manatū mo te Taiao Ministry for the Environment
Medium-Large Organisation Highly Commended – Dempsey Wood Civil Limited

Impact Award
Winner: Will&Able

See case studies and videos of all the 2021 finalists.


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