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Gender Tick launches to show best places for women to work

New Zealand women entering the workforce or looking to change roles now have a new tool that highlights those workplaces where women are most likely to get a fair go.

Gender Tick launches to show best places for women to work

New Zealand women entering the workforce or looking to change roles now have a new tool that highlights those workplaces where women are most likely to get a fair go. The YWCA Auckland in partnership with Mosaik Ltd. today announced the launch of The Gender Tick.  A first for New Zealand – and possibly the world - this is an accreditation programme for businesses to show their commitment to providing a fair workplace for all employees regardless of gender.

Six of New Zealand’s largest employers have joined as foundation members of the Gender Tick and are working through the accreditation process. Air New Zealand, Auckland Council, Coca Cola Amatil, Fonterra, Lion and SKYCITY collectively represent more than 45,000 employees and their participation highlights their individual commitment to a high performing workplace culture.

The YWCA has established a reputation as a champion for gender equality in New Zealand through pioneering the Equal Pay Awards in 2014, which have grown in influence & entries every year.

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” she added.

The YWCA Auckland have partnered with leading Diversity & Inclusion practitioner, Dr. Kaisa Wilson, a recognised Diversity and Inclusion specialist who works with a broad range of organisations including publicly listed companies, private business, government, NGO and grass-roots community groups. Dr Wilson is the lead assessor who says that advancing the rights of women in their workplaces makes sense not just for social justice reasons, but also for reasons of productivity, workforce health, talent management & competitive advantage.            

“When women have an equal place in society, everyone does better. However, there is a long history of women’s marginalisation in the workplace, and the gender pay gap is a symptom of this” she said.  “To move forward we need to put women at the centre and design organisations in which they lead alongside men. We must ensure that the work women do is valued and paid at the same rate, and that we provide space for women to manage paid work with the unpaid labour that disproportionately falls to them, from which we all benefit. When women do well, we all do well” she concludes.

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 who become accredited members of the Gender Tick can display the Gender Tick logo on all internal and external communication, promoting themselves as independently validated champions of workplace gender equality. Membership is reviewed through an evaluation eighteen months after it is conferred, and companies can access research on international best practice for gender-equal workplaces through their member logins.

Here is what the foundation member companies are saying about the Gender Tick:

“As an international airline and iconic brand, it’s vital we create an inclusive workplace which celebrates our people’s unique backgrounds and contributions. We know what gets measured gets done, so we’re delighted to add Gender Tick accreditation to the raft of external benchmarks and targets we’ve set ourselves to ensure we’re working toward a truly inclusive Air New Zealand, where all our people can thrive.”

Jodie King, Chief People Officer, Air New Zealand

 “It’s an absolute privilege and an honour to be involved in the Gender Tick accreditation, this is not only an innovative new programme that promotes and encourages a much fairer workplace for all but it also shows a greater commitment to gender equality. Our values at Coca-Cola Amatil align with the same expectations of the Gender Tick and we are proud of the work we do to ensure our people enjoy the benefits of an engaged and healthy workplace culture.

Susan Lowe, GM HR Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand.

“The Gender Tickis 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”.

Susan Doughty, Manager – Diversity and Inclusion, Fonterra.

“Lion is committed to championing sociability and encouraging people to live well.  To do this we need to ensure our people come to work each day feeling valued and supported to succeed and live well, both in their work environment and their broader lives.  Fostering an inclusive and diverse company culture which reflects the world we live in is a major part of this.  Gaining Gender Tick accreditation is an honour and supports us on our journey to becoming a fully inclusive and equal company, including achieving our 50:50 gender goal by 2026.” 

Rory Glass – Managing Director Lion NZ

“To be among the first businesses to apply for Gender Tick certification is an opportunity to validate our programme of work, and also be challenged to continually improve in other areas. We are looking forward to the opportunity to work with other businesses and specialists to share knowledge, ideas and best practice to keep us all moving forward on this journey.  At SKYCITY our focus on diversity and inclusion is not only about doing what’s right, but also about reflecting the diversity of our customers and community, and a recognition that diversity is a sustainable competitive advantage in the long term.”

Claire Walker, Group General Manager Human Resources, SKYCITY Entertainment Group.

“Auckland Council has an important role to play in fostering inclusion. Understanding and responding to the needs of our citizens, customers and community is at the heart of what we do and for us ‘being inclusive’ means intentionally addressing issues of access, equity and participation. Achieving this requires a willingness to embrace change at both an individual and system level. It’s critical we reflect the city and people we serve at all levels in the organisation. One of our key goals is to closely reflect the make-up of Auckland’s working population, especially gender, in our senior leadership team.“

Patricia Reade, Director People & Performance, Auckland Council

The Gender Tick has also received support from other business accreditation programmes, the CQ (Cultural Intelligence) Tick and the Rainbow Tick.

“The Gender Tick helps women to identify workplaces where they can thrive and flourish. The Superdiversity Institute’s experience with its CQ Tick is that the process of accreditation guides companies to create an environment where diverse staff can bring all of themselves to work. Similarly, the benefit of the Gender Tick for employers is creating a more attractive workplace for women and having them stay. In the war for top talent, this is a game-changer. In a competitive environment, making sure you have all of the talent pool at all levels of your organisation is critical to success”

Mai Chen, Chair Superdiversity Institute which provides CQ Tick accreditation.

“All people should be able to bring the whole of themselves to work, and know they are in a safe, equitable, and welcoming workplace. We know for a fact that for many this is not the case. Work such as that of the Gender Tick, which works with partner organisations to help them ensure they are an organisation that understands, promotes, and welcomes gender equity in the workplace is essential to bring about this change. This work only succeeds by organisations taking a public stand based on their values, and demonstrating leadership on the topic, and the Gender Tick offers an excellent platform for them to do this. We at the Rainbow Tick are delighted to show our support for the work of the Gender Tick.

Michael Stevens, Rainbow Tick Programme Director

The Gender Tick will be launched at 3.00 pm on Monday 29th October, at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, Ellen Melville Centre, 2 Freyberg Place, Auckland. Speakers include Acting CEO of the Ministry for Women, Helen Potiki, Dr. Kaisa Wilson and members of the Gender Tick.

To attend the launch and for interview requests please contact:

Suzanne McNicol - Media Adviser, YWCA Auckland

+64 21466907

suzanne@akywca.org.nz