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Armed Forces respect and support diversity

Armed Forces respect and support diversity

Defence Force takes top prize in Workplace Diversity Awards

The New Zealand Defence Force’s OverWatch programme entry into this year’s ANZ and EEO Trust Diversity Awards focuses on investing resources and time into ensuring employees with different lifestyles and gender identity obtain the right support and understanding throughout the armed forces.

The Supreme Award winning program was initiated by personnel within the armed forces who valued the support those with different lifestyles required. It was quickly endorsed by military leaders as a vital part of backing the wellbeing of its people, irrespective of being a uniformed or civilian staff.

The Equal Employment Opportunities Trust Chief Executive, Beverley Cassidy-MacKenzie, who was one of the five judges says OverWatch provides resources for personnel for example those who are questioning their own sexuality and are seeking advice.

“It also educates Defence Force leaders about different lifestyles to increase understanding throughout the armed forces.”

Mrs Cassidy Mackenzie says the programme is now shared among international allied forces via NATO and those serving offshore can access the support group and get assistance wherever they are serving in the world.

“This is the first time a sexuality support initiative has won the Supreme Award in the EEO Trust Awards 16 year history and I hope it leads to more businesses developing similar policies.”

Winners of the ANZ and EEO Trust Diversity Awards NZ 2013

Supreme Award - NZ Defence Force. OverWatch
Tomorrow’s Workforce Award – Ministry of Social Development, WINZ cadet programme
Highly Commended - NZ Defence Force. LSV.
Diversity AwardNZ Defence Force. OverWatch (and Supreme Award)
Work & Life AwardCoca-Cola Amatil
Skills Highway AwardPacific Homecare
Walk the Talk Award – Peter Potaka, Statistics NZ

The following is a brief description of the categories in the ANZ and EEO Trust Diversity Awards 2013

Tomorrow's Workforce Award, which recognises innovative responses to tomorrow's employment challenges.
Diversity Award, for organisations that make the most of employee diversity.
Work & Life Award, which celebrates initiatives that create opportunities for greater engagement and productivity in a workplace.
Skills Highway Award, which recognises workplaces which can show how they have helped improve their employees' reading, maths and communication skills.
Walk the Talk Award, which celebrates effective workplace diversity leaders.


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