IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Spark gets rainbow tick of approval for workplace diversity & inclusion
Fri, 4th Aug 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

A Kiwi telecommunications giant has received recognition for its inclusiveness of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui and intersex (LGBTI).

Spark is the first New Zealand telecommunications company to achieve the Rainbow Tick certification.

The Rainbow Tick demonstrates that a business is an inclusive organisation for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui and intersex (LGBTI).

It recognises Spark's commitment to setting formal benchmarks around LGBTI inclusion in the workplace. Spark kicked off the Rainbow Tick process late last year as part of a wider focus on a range of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Rhonda Koroheke, has been focused on ensuring Spark met all the criteria to achieve the Rainbow Tick as quickly as possible.

“We set ourselves a goal to ensure Spark embraces each aspect of culture and diversity that's relevant to our people. We've made huge strides with our diversity programme in the last year and achieved the Rainbow Tick accreditation in only nine months, demonstrating that inclusion is a key part of our daily culture.

Koroheke says having the Tick shows that Spark is a culturally innovative company where everyone can feel confident being themselves at work.

Rainbow Tick Programme director Michael Stevens says he's delighted to announce that Spark will become its 28th member and the first telecommunications provider.

“Spark is to be commended for a sincerely positive and engaged attitude to supporting Rainbow staff in its workplace.

“The importance of Spark taking part in the Pride Parade and the positive impact this had was mentioned numerous times by several of the staff we interviewed and demonstrated a clear level of senior level engagement.

“Our evaluation found that Spark was very focused on culture and guiding staff as to what is and isn't acceptable in all their daily interactions.

Spark's diversity efforts extend beyond the Rainbow Tick. The telecommunications company is a founding partner of Global Woman as well as Champions for Change, an organisation focused on driving a new range of diverse leaders across New Zealand business.

Both Spark's managing director Simon Moutter and chairman Mark Verbiest hold leading roles in Champions for Change initiatives that aim to raise the value of diversity and inclusiveness in the business community.

Spark says it supports a variety of initiatives that represent different cultures, religions and preferences of the whole team; internal celebrations around the country include Diwali, Eid, Matariki, Chinese New Year, and Pride.

Spark's Rainbow Tick certification will be reassessed annually.