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YWCA launches Gender Tick

Friday, Nov 2, 2018, by Sheryl Blythen

The YWCA Auckland has launched an accreditation programme for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to gender equity in their workplace. Six of New Zealand’s largest employers have joined as foundation members of the Gender Tick - Air New Zealand, Auckland Council, Coca-Cola Amatil, Fonterra, Lion and SKYCITY. YWCA Auckland Business Development Manager, Debbie Burrows says that the idea for the Gender Tick came from the insights and shared experiences of Equal Pay Award entrants. “Companies kept asking us if what they were doing was ‘right’ and so many wanted to know how they could improve in issues like parental leave, sabbaticals and flexible working” she said. “This proved that there was a real need for a programme that independently validates people policies and processes with regard to gender. The outcome that these businesses wanted was a healthy workplace culture; and addressing gender-equality has significant benefits for their workforce.” The programme assesses organisations across five key indicators including gender inclusive culture, flexibility and leave, women in leadership, gender pay equality and ensuring a safe workplace. Companies that achieve Gender Tick accreditation can display the logo on all internal and external communications to enable them to be identified as a desirable place for women to work. The YWCA Auckland partnered with diversity and inclusion practitioner Dr Kaisa Wilson, a specialist who works with a broad range of organisations including publicly listed companies, private business, government, NGO and grass-roots community groups, to create the programme. Fonterra Diversity and Inclusion Manager Susan Doughty, also a member of the Diversity Work New Zealand Board, says, "The Gender Tick is a fantastic initiative because it promotes the importance of gender equality for business and society, and helps keep organisations accountable. We’re delighted to be one of the six foundation members and look forward to sharing our experiences with other businesses that are starting out in the accreditation process. By working together, we can help drive New Zealand forward to become a more inclusive and diverse place to live and work.”

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