Health giant praised over diversity efforts

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A leading health insurer has become the latest Kiwi company to be recognised for its commitment to diversity after it was accredited with the Rainbow Tick.

Southern Cross Health Society received the official endorsement yesterday, following a rigorous process in which it had to prove it is a safe, welcoming and inclusive place for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

To receive the validation, organisations are evaluated across five areas; Strategy and Policy, Staff Engagement and Organisational Support, External Engagement, Organisational Development, and Monitoring.

Nick Astwick, chief executive of the Southern Cross Health Society, said the achievement would never have happened if it were not for the company’s diversity and inclusion forum. Established in September 2016, the group comprised of employees from across all levels of the organisation.

“Achieving Rainbow Tick accreditation and all it represents for our staff was the first priority for the group so I’m extremely proud that we have achieved this today,” he said.

Michael Stevens, program director for the Rainbow Tick, also praised the Southern Cross Health Society for its internal values welcoming culture.

“Southern Cross Health Society truly encourages employees to bring their whole self to work, fostering an open and diverse workplace,” he said.

Speaking to HRD, Stevens also called on other employers to address diversity within their own organisations, saying they’re putting both themselves and their employees at risk if they fail to do so.

“If I had one message for employers that aren’t focusing on diversity and inclusion, it is that you are making a mistake,” he said. “You need to understand that the world has changed. To get the best results for your company, you need to embrace the widest possible range of people and embrace the opportunities that they bring into your organisation.”


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