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Otago Polytechnic Achieves Rainbow Tick Reaccreditation

Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga is proud to have achieved Rainbow Tick reaccreditation, acknowledging that it values people in the workplace, embracing the diversity of sexual and gender identities.

Otago Polytechnic Executive Director Dr Megan Pōtiki was presented the re-accreditation certificate at a Leadership Council meeting at the Dunedin campus on Monday 29 April.

"The re-accreditation reflects the important mahi of our kaimahi, who work hard to create a positive and inclusive environment for all," Dr Pōtiki says.

"Otago Polytechnic welcomes and includes everyone regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, religious or ethical beliefs or political opinions."

To gain Rainbow Tick certification, Otago Polytechnic proved that it is diverse, open and inclusive as an employer. Criteria included strategies and policies that specifically mention inclusion, reporting on inclusion at all levels, including governance, and education offered to staff. In addition, staff feedback was sought through an online survey.

"People may be aware of the increasing debate within the media about why we need Rainbow inclusive workplace policies and actions," Dr Pōtiki says.

"The original purpose for gaining Rainbow Tick accreditation in 2017 was to publicly demonstrate our inclusive environment, and to attract and retain the best people to our organisation, both staff and students.

"By flying the flag and continuing to seek re-accreditation for the Rainbow Tick, Otago Polytechnic is upholding its organisational values and displaying its strong commitment to a welcoming, inclusive and supportive culture for everyone," Dr Pōtiki says.

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In confirming re-accreditation, the Rainbow Tick report’s authors commented: "We particularly applaud your efforts in supporting Rainbow communities through increased training/education and story sharing, services for Rainbow kaimahi and ākonga, Rainbow events and celebrations, and sector-wide impacts. These actions demonstrate your dedication to promoting Rainbow inclusion and supporting the Rainbow community."

Otago Polytechnic has continued to implement a range of inclusive strategies in the past year, including:

  • Training/education and story sharing. We continue to offer Rainbow-specific training/education and Rainbow Tick’s online training modules. Following up on the previous year’s recommendation, we shared stories from individuals within the Rainbow communities who work in the trades
  • Services for Rainbow staff and students. We have a range of mechanisms to check in with Rainbow staff and students to ensure they feel welcomed and supportedRainbow events and celebrations. Rainbow-related news and commentaries have been posted on our "News and Events" webpage to acknowledge Rainbow events, and influential figures from the community, and celebrate our achievements in Rainbow inclusion. Rainbow meetings and events were organised by Rainbow staff, students and others.

"Rainbow" refers to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual/pansexual, transgender, takatāpui and intersex asexual (LGBTTQIA+). The Rainbow flag means we are committed to providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive workplace for all staff, regardless of their gender and expression, sex characteristics, or sexual orientation.

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