What is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I)?
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are three closely linked values that can be defined in brief as:
- Diversity – includes all the elements that make up an individual’s identity such as ethnicity, religion, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, education etc.
- Equity – Equity = fairness. This is especially true when it comes to processes and procedures at work. Equity within a workplace allows everyone to be treated fairly and have the same opportunities to be their whole selves at work, and to contribute meaningfully in their jobs.
- Inclusion – Creating environments so that everyone feels safe, welcomed, supported, valued and respected. Creating environments where everyone embraces differences and respects these differences through words and actions.
DE&I has always been a part of our workplaces because diversity has always existed within them. More recently though, workplaces have begun to analyse and review how their systems, processes and policies interact with the elements of diversity and whether these things create equitable outcomes and a sense of inclusion, or whether they reinforce and worsen existing inequalities.
Frank and honest discourse has allowed us to identify that the standard way of working and traditional structures within workplaces can and does exacerbate inequalities, and the field of DE&I in the workplace is a space within which we look to remedy and redesign work and workplaces so they are inclusive of and equitable for all people.
DE&I is a wide and diverse topic, and one that is best traversed with intention and respect. We’ve put together a few of the many existing helpful resources below to help members and HR professionals on their own DE&I journey. If you have questions on this topic, or have some great resources you think would be a good addition to this page, get in touch with us.
Beyond the Binary
Partnering with OutLine, Spark have taken the opportunity to help Kiwis build better relationships with their data, starting with gender representation. The internet is still run on a binary system that hasn't changed since the 1950s. If you identify beyond the gender binary of male or female, you may feel invisible in your experiences online. Beyond Binary Code aims to change that.
Beyond the Binary aims to help businesses re-evaluate if, when and how they ask for gender data. First by assessing if capturing gender data is even necessary, and if it is, generating an HTML code that can be added to their website to make forms and fields more gender inclusive.
The code also includes supporting materials that help businesses apply good data privacy practices, get company buy-in and create change within your organisation.
The Aotearoa Inclusivity Matrix
The Aotearoa Inclusivity Matrix is an evidence-based framework developed specifically for New Zealand workplaces that allows organisations to identify the maturity of their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices across seven components. It will provide a basis for workplaces to understand their current capabilities, identify areas for improvement and create a roadmap for transformation.
The creation of the Aotearoa Inclusivity Matrix provides:
- A national standard for workplace DEI in New Zealand
- A strategic roadmap for the design of programmes, training and projects delivered by Diversity Works New Zealand, the national body for workplace diversity and inclusion
You can download a copy of the framework and a guide to help with implementing the framework, along with lots more helpful information here.
Data Collection of SOGIESC – statistical standards
Advocating for the collection of correct data (particularly around sex and gender) is an awesome step HR can take in helping make their workplaces safe and empowering for rainbow people.
Stats NZ has a series of standards (developed through a review process with extensive public consultation, input from government agencies, international peers, and the support of an external advisory group including subject matter experts and community advocates) that provide guidance for data collection in your organisation.
- Statistical standard for gender, sex, and variations of sex characteristics (Stats NZ)
- Statistical Standard for Sexual identity (Stats NZ)
- Sexual orientation (framework)
Reports and Surveys
- Counting Ourselves is the first community report from the Counting Ourselves survey about the health and wellbeing of trans and non-binary people in Aotearoa New Zealand.
- Prism Report explores six human rights issues relating to people with a diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics in Aotearoa New Zealand and provides recommendations on each issue.
- We Count 2019 survey was developed by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Cross-Agency Rainbow Network (CARN) to explore both the diversity (who we are) and inclusion (how we are) of our rainbow public service employees.
- Supporting Aotearoa’s rainbow people is a practical guide for mental health professionals
- Takatāpui – Part of the whanau is a resource for takatāpui (a traditional Māori term meaning ‘intimate companion of the same sex’), their whanau and communities, sharing stories and information about identity, wellbeing and suicide prevention.
Other Information & Resources
- Pronouns – Public Service Commission Information
- Pronouns - InsideOUT Guide
- Rainbow Terminology (InsideOUT) - A list of terms related to sex, gender and sexuality, and their common definitions.
- Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine Women’s Employment Action Plan was launched by Minister for Women Hon Jan Tinetti – with the goal of supporting all women in Aotearoa to fulfil their potential.
- Working Matters - An Action Plan to ensure disabled people and people with health conditions have an equal opportunity to access employment.
- Papa Pounamu - The diversity and inclusion work programme for the wider Public Service in Aotearoa, covering 5 priority areas that are focused on making the most positive impact across all diversity dimensions.
- Te Orowaru toolkit – Resources to help you work through the pay equity work assessment process.
- Kia Toipoto – a comprehensive set of actions to help close gender, Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps in the public service.
National Rainbow Organisations:
- OutLine Aotearoa - confidential, free, LGBTQI+- affirming support line and face-to-face counselling - phone 0800 688 5463 or visit OutLine Aotearoa.
- Rainbow Youth - support and referral services, drop-in centres, peer-support groups and resources for queer and gender diverse youth and their wider communities across Aotearoa.
- InsideOUT - Resources, education, hui and tools to produce safer schools and communities for young people of minority genders, sexes and sexualities.
- Gender Minorities Aotearoa - Information about gender-affirming healthcare and changing ID documents, a free binder project, access to free facial IPL, drop-in shop and centre, a database of community support services around the country, and an online peer-support group, based on a kaupapa Māori approach.
- Diversity Works | Diversity Awards NZ throughout the years
- NZ HR Awards | Shaping the Profession eBook
- Flourish café – based in Takapuna, Auckland, Flourish café is a training café owned by Project Employ, a charity supporting young adults with learning differences to become work ready by providing authentic work experience opportunities, a genuine stepping-stone to employment and independence.
- Active in Hell – a programme run by Hells Pizza. Young people with intellectual disabilities can gain paid work experience in a franchise restaurant over 10 weeks. A number of stores have permanently hired their trainees following a successful experience in this programme.
Disability and Accessibility
An accessible workplace is a crucial part of ensuring that everyone has dignity, independence, and equal access to every part of their workplace including but not limited to opportunities, technology, communications and the physical workspace.
Below is a list of resources that can help ensure workplaces are accessible for all, and provide a safe and inclusive environment for disabled workers and customers.
Supporting Disabled Peoples in Employment - MSD
The Lead Toolkit contains information and resources for business owners, leadership teams, managers and human resources teams to help them employ disabled people within their businesses.
New Zealand Disability Strategy - Office for Disability Issues
The New Zealand Disability Strategy will guide the work of government agencies on disability issues from 2016 to 2026 and can also be used by any individual or organisation who wants to learn more about, and make the best decisions on, things that are important to disabled people. https://www.odi.govt.nz/nz-disability-strategy/
Digital and Web Accessibility
Making sure everyone, including disabled people and those using assistive technologies, can access online information and services is a crucial consideration for all workplaces. For general information on the importance and benefits visit: https://www.digital.govt.nz/standards-and-guidance/design-and-ux/accessibility/
For the latest guidance on making web content accessible, including new topics that have been developed in consultation with digital practitioners, see the Web Accessibility Guidance project — NZ Government(external link).