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Vapo Keen To Show Big Companies Real Rainbow Inclusion

Popular local vape brand, Vapo, has been awarded the Rainbow Tick.

Vapo, which includes brands Alt and Vapix, is the largest Kiwi-owned vape business. However, its founders and owners, Ben Pryor and Jonathan Devery, say it’s arguably the smallest New Zealand company to be given the increasingly sought-after certification mark.

“We’d like to think we can show many big businesses how diversity and inclusiveness is really done, as well as encourage other smaller businesses to get on board,” says Ben Pryor.

With 11 stores nationwide and more than 100 staff, Vapo is now among some of New Zealand’s biggest and best-known companies and organisations that showcase the Rainbow Tick.

'We implore other businesses to follow in our footsteps and help change New Zealand workplaces for the better. Leading the way on diverse and inclusive workplaces, and enabling people to be their whole selves at work, is beneficial in all areas of business and the greater community,” says Jonathan Devery.

“We are really proud to have been living and breathing inclusivity since day one. With our human resources processes, for example, Vapo proactively promotes a welcoming Rainbow-friendly workplace – one where we are simply seeking the best person, without even enquiring about a person’s gender identity,” says Mr Pryor.

Rainbow Tick evaluators acknowledged that Vapo is smaller than other network members and that the evidence ‘reveals a warmer and more personal touch than is possible in larger companies.’

Vapo ‘fully achieved’ in all five areas of assessment into the company’s level of LGBTTIQ+ inclusion: Policies; Staff Training; Staff Engagement & Support; External Engagement; and Monitoring.

Evaluators noted ‘Your commitment to supporting Pride in 2020… along with your work with Rainbow Youth in supporting trans people who currently smoke with vaping devices also indicates organisational commitment to this work.’

They also acknowledged Chief Scientist, Eliana Golberstein, in her work with Rainbow refugees, the intersex community and the training she offers at OUTline ‘all demonstrate your engagement with our communities.’

Ms Golberstein says Vapo is delighted to gain the certification mark for organisations that complete a Diversity & Inclusion assessment process. In fact, the vape company exceeded the minimum requirements in different areas, and remains committed to the Rainbow Tick’s on-going quality improvement process.

“Vapo is about accepting and valuing everyone in our workplace, celebrating diversity and creating a supportive work environment. That is also what the Rainbow Tick is all about, so it’s wonderful to officially have it,” says Eliana Golberstein.

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