Trust Waikato Achieves GenderTick Accreditation
Trust Waikato has gained GenderTick accreditation, an important endorsement of the Trust’s commitment to gender equity and valuing the diverse needs of its people. Offered by the YWCA, the GenderTick accreditation assesses an organisation on criteria which encourage a gender inclusive culture, a safe workplace, flexible work and leave, leadership representation and equal pay.
Trust Waikato signed up to be assessed for the GenderTick accreditation in 2020, and in 2021 improvements to policies have now resulted in the Trust meeting all these criteria.
“This has been an excellent evaluation process to go through,” says Trust Waikato Chief Executive Dennis Turton. “The GenderTick accreditation has enabled us to improve our workplace to be more inclusive and equitable.”
Major changes include adding two new sections to the Human Resources Policy for ‘Parental Leave’ and ‘Gender Transitioning’.
Improvements for new parents include two weeks paid leave for partners of ‘primary carers’ and counselling support through the Employee Assistance Programme during parental leave. Once staff have returned from parental leave they are also provided with additional flexibility for the first three months and five additional sick days for the first twelve months.
“The new Parental Leave section offers important ways to support new parents who are often balancing a number of demands all at once,” says Dennis.
In the Gender Transitioning section, transitioning employees will be able to decide how much, what and when information is disclosed to other employees, and support will be provided for this communication. The section also explicitly states that employees have the right to wear the dress code and use bathroom facilities that match their gender identity. Sick leave has also been made accessible for medical transitions.
Having a GenderTick accreditation is an ongoing commitment and process. An organisation that is part of this programme, will be reassessed every 18 months to ensure they still meet the criteria for accreditation.
Trust Waikato believes it is important to continually educate, adapt and improve processes to ensure that gender equity criteria are met.
“As we work in the philanthropic sector for the benefit of our communities, we need to ensure we are leading in areas of equity,” says Dennis. “We must constantly challenge ourselves to improve, so that our practices are evolving to be inclusive and best practice.”
There are more than 100,000 employees across New Zealand working for organisations that have the GenderTick accreditation.