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Following a six-month audit process, New Zealand’s premier commercial law firm, Russell McVeagh, has been awarded Rainbow Tick Certification.
The Rainbow Tick Programme is a continual quality improvement programme designed to help an organisation ensure it is a safe and welcoming workplace for employees of diverse gender identity and sexual orientation and demonstrates a business is an inclusive organisation for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Takatapui and intersex.
Russell McVeagh CEO Gary McDiarmid said, “It sends a great message to our staff and our clients that we embrace diversity. We place great importance on diversity and inclusiveness in our workplace although by going through this process, it has become clear that we still have a way to go on our journey.
“We are committed to building upon this achievement and continuing to work on making our environment a welcoming place for all of our employees to feel comfortable enough bringing their authentic selves to work,” he said.
Becoming certified involved an audit of relevant documents and the use of two focus groups which were carried out in the first part of 2016 and then assessed against current international best practice in this field. The focus groups included one with a self-selected group of Rainbow employees and the other with a group of staff from the general population and from a range of departments, with staff from both Auckland and Wellington offices taking part in this process.
The firm’s HR director Lesley Elvidge said that creating a workplace where people feel free to bring their whole selves is a key factor in being able to attract and retain the best talent at the firm.
“While the areas of gender balance and ethnicity have been the focus of our Diversity Project to date, it was important to us to extend ours to include LGBTTI diversity. We have learnt so much through the process of becoming certified and are grateful for the support and guidance of The Rainbow Tick organisation. We are looking forward to continuing to develop our relationship with the LGBTTI community,” she said.