Sovereign has become the first insurance company in New Zealand to receive the Rainbow Tick in recognition of its successful diversity and inclusion programme, which includes a focus on sexual and gender diversity.
The Rainbow Tick programme is a continual quality improvement programme designed to help an organisation ensure it is a safe and welcoming workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) employees.
“Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace where employees can be themselves is incredibly important for us at Sovereign and we are very proud to become the first New Zealand insurance company to receive the Rainbow Tick,” says Sovereign Chief Officer People and Community Sharron Botica.
“The Rainbow Tick gives both our current and future employees confidence that, across all levels of the organisation, we have created an environment where they can thrive.”
Botica said Sovereign had put a number of initiatives in place to ensure the LGBTI community at Sovereign are supported including establishing a committee of Diversity Champions, supporting the staff LGBTI network, reporting on diversity at senior levels and supporting Rainbow events.
“Diversity is part of our DNA as a company and we’ll continue to encourage staff to build internal networks and provide them with the support to do so as well as look for opportunities to generate awareness across the entire organisation. We also work closely with ASB [also part of the Commonwealth Bank Group] to actively promote the Unity Group.”
Within the audit report, Rainbow Tick said: ‘We believe Sovereign is a company that is showing true leadership and commitment to this ideal in the NZ workplace’.
Rainbow Tick Programme Director Michael Stevens said it was very encouraging to see how Sovereign staff really understood the value of workplace diversity and this programme in particular.
“We know that when people can be themselves at work without fear of negative reactions they are better able to work, happier and more productive. This was not just a box-ticking exercise, but a reflection of Sovereign’s culture. Sovereign has set a great example for others to follow,” said Stevens.
Sovereign’s strong focus on diversity and inclusion has also been recognised by the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust, who selected the company as a finalist for both the Empowerment and Work-Life Balance Awards at the upcoming Diversity Awards NZ.
“We are committed to providing a workplace where people can be themselves. Our diversity and inclusion programme spans age, gender, sexual preference, culture and beliefs. It is supported by strong leadership, which has not only ensured success but enables us to continue building on it in the future,” says Botica.