ANZ supports girls’ education with Dignity initiative
ANZ is partnering with social enterprise Dignity to provide free sanitary items to girls at 23 schools in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and 1,200 female staff members.
Dignity runs a ‘buy-one-give-one’ model. When firms buy sanitary products from Dignity, an equivalent amount of its products is donated to schools.
As Dignity’s largest corporate partner, ANZ has started with five of its offices and nearby schools. From next year, ANZ will expand the initiative to include all 12 ANZ corporate offices and ANZ branches will follow, supporting even more young women.
“We’re really concerned that girls are staying home from school each month because they can’t afford sanitary products and want to do our bit to change that,” says Felicity Evans, ANZ General Manager Human Resources.
“ANZ is supporting Dignity as we want to help our staff and also have a direct and positive impact on girls’ education.”
In Felicity’s early working life she provided sanitary items for her staff at a bank branch in Upper Hutt and was encouraged to introduce the initiative at ANZ after hearing about Dignity’s concept.
“We see sanitary items as being like any other practical consumable in a workplace, such as coffee and tea or soap. We support the work of Dignity in making sanitary products a normal part of every workplace.”
The founders of Dignity, Miranda Hitchings and Jacinta Gulasekharam, launched the buy-one-give-one sanitary item service while they were students at Victoria University, facing their own challenge buying sanitary items.
“We know that providing pads and tampons in the bathroom isn't going to solve all gender diversity problems, but it is a small step towards wider diversity goals. And it's incredibly motivating being part of that change,” says Miranda Hitchings.
One Wellington school principal says the ANZ donation supports 250 students.
“Although sanitary items are a basic item in most households, they still remain an extra expense and we are very grateful to help ease our families’ financial strain as much as possible.”