Banks tops for workplace gender equality

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New Zealand's financial institutions have dominated the White Camellia Awards for the second year running.

The awards recognise organisations that have made the most progress in implementing the seven principles of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which offer businesses guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. They are the result of a collaboration between UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact.

UN Women President Angela McLeod said the banks – BNZ, ASB, Westpac – were leading the way “in terms of providing corporate leadership for gender equality in the workplace”.

Law firm Bell Gully, Deloittes and retailer Farmers, also picked up awards for their efforts to advance women in the workplace, and treat men and women equally. All the winners have made commitments to women's empowerment at a chief executive level and are actively recruiting women into senior roles, including governance. Additionally, they are supporting women and men in their parenting responsibilities; addressing gender pay gaps and have a number of other initiatives to support the full participation of women at work.

Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue said: “Signing up to WEPs is basically the smart thing to do. Investing in women in the workplace pays huge dividends for consumers, employees and business productivity.”

Based on the seven principles of the WEPs, the 2014 award winners are:

BNZ – Supreme Winner

Principle 1 – Leadership Promotes Gender Equity

Principle 2 – Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Non-discrimination
Bell Gully

Principle 3 Health, Safety and Freedom from Violence
Farmers Trading Company

Principle 4 Education and Training

Principle 5 Enterprise Development, Supply Chain and Marketing Practices
ASB Bank

Principle 6 Community Leadership and Engagement

The seventh principle requires measuring and reporting women’s empowerment. By participating in the survey, all organisations that responded have demonstrated their commitment to this principle.



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