Spark has today announced it has become New Zealand’s first telecommunications company to achieve Rainbow Tick certification.
The Rainbow Tick demonstrates that a business is an inclusive organisation for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui and intersex (LGBTI). It recognises Spark’s commitment to setting formal benchmarks around LGBTI inclusion in the workplace and the certification will be reassessed annually.
Spark kicked off the Rainbow Tick process late last year as part of a wider focus on a range of diversity and inclusion initiatives. With over 62 nationalities amongst staff, the company supports a variety of staff-led initiatives that represent different cultures, religions and preferences of the whole team. Internal celebrations around the country include Diwali, Eid, Matariki, Chinese New Year, Pride and many others.
Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Rhonda Koroheke, has been focused on ensuring Spark met all the criteria to achieve the Rainbow Tick as quickly as possible.
“We set ourselves a goal to ensure Spark embraces each aspect of culture and diversity that’s relevant to our people. We’ve made huge strides with our diversity programme in the last year and achieved the Rainbow Tick accreditation in only nine months, demonstrating that inclusion is a key part of our daily culture. Having the Tick shows that Spark is a culturally innovative company where everyone can feel confident being themselves at work.”
Rainbow Tick Programme Director Michael Stevens says he’s delighted to announce that Spark will become its 28th member and the first telecommunications provider.
“Spark is to be commended for a sincerely positive and engaged attitude to supporting Rainbow staff in its workplace. The importance of Spark taking part in the Pride Parade and the positive impact this had was mentioned numerous times by several of the staff we interviewed and demonstrated a clear level of senior level engagement. Our evaluation found that Spark was very focused on culture and guiding staff as to what is and isn’t acceptable in all their daily interactions.”
Spark’s diversity strategy extends beyond Rainbow Tick, including being a founding partner of Global Woman as well as Champions for Change, an organisation focused on driving a new range of diverse leaders across New Zealand business. Both Spark’s Managing Director Simon Moutter and Chairman Mark Verbiest have taken leading roles in Champions for Change initiatives that aim to raise the value of diversity and inclusiveness in the business community.
Spark will continue focus on supporting the rainbow community as part of its wider diversity and inclusion strategy. The company plans to offer more of their people specific training, and will aim to set a benchmark for diversity in the industry.