Certification involves a full audit of a company’s policies and processes to determine if the correct structural and procedural pieces are in place. In addition to this, focus groups are held with staff members throughout the organisation to assess what working in the organisation is actually like. This is crucial to ensure that positive attitudes and behaviours are not just referenced in policies, but that they are also lived and breathed by staff every day.
Achieving the Rainbow Tick was a personal passion for Partners Life’s Chief Financial Officer Sean Kam. Understanding that for change and culture to be meaningful it needs to be driven from the top, Sean made the personal commitment to champion the Rainbow Tick certification process in late 2017. This is not typically the sort of project started by someone in finance and when asked why a heterosexual numbers guy would champion something seemingly so far outside of his lane, Sean was unequivocal in his response “It is the right thing to do!”
Partners Life has grown organically over the years into a diverse and inclusive business. Sean initiated the Rainbow Tick project fully aware that the business was already a safe organisation for rainbow staff. The certification process was not a vanity project, or an accolade and he was unwavering in his intention: “We do not need this mark to make ourselves behave, we are using it to show our people who we are and what we stand for.”
During the certification process, Rainbow Tick announced the inaugural Rainbow Excellence Awards. Beginning in 2019, these annual awards aim to recognise the incredible work being done by New Zealand organisations building a more inclusive community of workplaces. We immediately recognised the value in showcasing these success stories and we are proud to announce we have signed on as a sponsor to the awards.
Having just completed our own certification, we felt it most appropriate to highlight other organisations who are at the beginning stages of their rainbow initiatives. The Partners Life Emerging Award recognises organisations who are early in their diversity and inclusion journey but have taken steps to clearly signal their commitment to rainbow inclusion in one or more facets of their organisation.
The awards were held on Friday the 17th of May and we’re proud to announce the winner was Chorus New Zealand. Congratulations to Chorus and well done to all of the finalists for the amazing work they are doing. The Rainbow Tick is not a one-off process that lasts indefinitely. The certification is reassessed every year with a company needing to prove it continues to operate inclusively and continues to show improvement. We are proud to be Rainbow Tick certified and remain committed to being a safe space for our staff, business partners and clients.