Banks lead the way on gender equality in the workplace

Banks lead the way on gender equality in the workplace

March 10, 2014

For the second year running, banks have scooped the majority of the awards at the second White Camellia Awards*, held in Auckland last night.

The awards recognise organisations that have made the most progress in implementing the seven principles of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).

“The 2014 supreme winner is the Bank of New Zealand. Banks are leading the way in terms of providing corporate leadership for gender equality in the workplace,” UN Women President Angela McLeod said today.

“It’s also pleasing to see other businesses, such as law firm Bell Gully, Deloittes, and retailer Farmers, picking up awards for their efforts to advance women in the workplace, and treat men and women equally,” adds Bev Cassidy-McKenzie, of the EEO Trust.

The winning businesses are not only making commitments to women’s empowerment at a chief executive level, they are actively recruiting women into senior roles, including governance.

These companies 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.”

The awards were sponsored by the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust (EEO), the Employers and Manufacturer’s Association and Coca-Cola Amatil.

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

  • SUPREME WINNER: BNZ
  • Principle 1 – Leadership Promotes Gender Equity: ASB and BNZ
  • 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: Deloitte
  • Principle 5 Enterprise Development, Supply Chain and Marketing Practices: ASB Bank
  • Principle 6 Community Leadership and Engagement: Westpac

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.

* White Camellias are an emblem of women’s suffrage. They were given to all the Members of Parliament who voted for the right of women to vote in 1893. White camellias are featured on our ten dollar bill alongside a portrait of Kate Sheppard. The White Camellia Awards are organised jointly by UN Women New Zealand, the EEO Trust, the Human Rights Commission and Business and Professional Women (BPW) New Zealand.

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