2020 Diversity Awards NZ: Recognising Global Women Partners

The 2020 Diversity Awards NZ hosted by Diversity Works took place on Wednesday 16th of September, acknowledging the diversity and inclusion strategy of local organisations excelling in their initiatives. Streaming to a virtual audience, this years’ 2020 Diversity Awards NZ celebrated successful diversity & inclusion efforts across multiple categories with various diversity focuses, encompassing age, gender and cultural considerations.

We’re proud to recognise four Global Women Partners whose trailblazing efforts have been acknowledged as part of this year’s celebrations. New Zealand Police and Deloitte were named as winners in their categories, with Heartland Bank and Fletcher Building’s initiatives also landing as finalists.

It’s with great pride that we announce their accolades, and expand on the outstanding initiatives that they’ve recently been recognised for. Moreover, these organisations’ insights provide excellent inspiration as to what organisations in Aotearoa can do to champion diversity as we re-evaluate our D&I approaches in the wake of Covid.

New Zealand Police [Winner, Emerging Diversity & Inclusion]

New Zealand Police’s Police Pathway Programme was recognised as a winner for improving cultural diversity among younger age demographics. It was designed as a response to the challenges blocking teenage students — specifically Māori and Pasifika — from considering and being accepted as recruits. Sidestepping traditional marketing campaigns, the programme encourages Year 13 students across 61 North Island schools to consider this career path by involving them in a specially-designed elective NZQA course. It gives holistic insights on what it takes to join the force while assessing students in physical activity, interviewing and communication skills, teamwork, mental health and wellbeing, and legislation — which are all learning points adapted from the official training programme. Additionally, the course allowed participating students to gain up to 26 NCEA Level 3 credits. 

Since launching the programme, this New Zealand Police Force has noticed an increased number of applications and enquiries from students who had access to the course. The initiative has also been praised by Diversity Works’ judging convener, Kristin Te Wao, as growing a community-centric talent pipeline through the regions to sustain the workforce in the future and also engage in honest discussions about the attitudes of young kiwis towards the organisation.

Deloitte [Winner, Empowerment]

Deloitte’s multi-faceted approach to improving diversity has landed them as deserving winners in this years’ Empowerment category. This includes a series of initiatives designed under the umbrella of an ‘ALL IN’ strategy, designed to both dismantle perceptions about the role of women in professional services and accelerate the representation of women at senior levels. It has included focuses across the following areas:

  • Parental Care

    In order to remove barriers to shared parental care, the leave policy was modernised to include eight weeks of paid partner leave, available for up to two years following the birth or adoption of a child. This echoes the ‘Kiwi Dads’ initiative supported by Deloitte that seeks to normalise fatherhood in the workplace. A flexible working policy also compliments this to further emphasise the importance of shared care — as well as ‘Lifestyle Leave’ policy, where staff can additionally purchase up to eight weeks of leave a year to meet family or personal needs.

  • Women in Leadership programme (WIL)

    The sponsorship of female talent by partners and the WIL programme have been designed to keep women in the pipeline, progressing to senior level. This involves quarterly reporting to the Management Group and Board on gender hiring progress and sponsors giving female staff opportunities to raise their profiles, opportunities to extend their comfort zone and advocate for their work.

Fletcher Building [Finalist, Tomorrow’s Workforce]

A partnership with GirlBoss NZ to create a GirlBoss Advantage Programme landed Fletcher as a finalist in ‘Tomorrow’s Workforce’ category. The programme involved inviting 28 young high school women to participate in a week-long internship with Fletcher Building. The programme facilitated active participation through visits to Fletcher Building projects, workshops on personal branding and networking, as well as a Dragon’s Den-style challenge designed by their in-house Innovation team. Additionally, more than 60 Fletcher Building leaders from across the company were involved as mentors across the week.

This was shown to have fantastic, positive impacts on participants: with 100% of the young women being interested in pursuing a career in STEM upon completion. Fletcher Building GM of Sustainability, Helen Jenkins says that the programme has acted as a welcome sign to the industry for young women, and that the staff were energised and inspired by the student’s fresh approaches — with five young women even being offered a paid summer internship as a result.

Heartland Bank [Finalist, Cultural Celebration]

Heartland Bank’s homegrown Manawa Ako internship programme has been celebrated as a finalist in Diversity Works’ ‘Cultural Celebration’ category. Acting as a two-way street for cultural inclusivity, the initiative gives rangatahi Māori and Pasifika the opportunity to be involved in the financial industry – where they are underrepresented — while allowing the bank to gain new perspectives from their insight. 

50 students have been involved in Manawa Ako, from a range of schools and organisations since the programmes’ inception in 2017. Many staff have been involved at all layers of the student’s journeys: a tuakana is assigned to each intern, managers go through a workshop to help them prepare for the intern, and the executive leadership team has a hands-on approach to the programme through attending events, talking to interns about their journeys and ensuring the interns meet with the Board of Directors and the CEO.


About Ava Wardecki – Ava channels her love of storytelling into writing and as a director of a social media company. With a background in corporate branding, social media and public relations and a conjoint Marketing and Public Relations degree from AUT and HEC Paris, she’s worked across corporate, fashion, lifestyle and hospitality industries. Paris born and Auckland raised and a keen traveller, she’s passionate about how understanding and creating cultures that can inspire and evoke change.