Supermarket chain Countdown has gained the Rainbow Tick for its work to promote diversity and inclusion across its business. The supermarket chain has worked hard to become the first employer in New Zealand to introduce policies and training to support transitioning team members and to roll out unconscious bias training to leaders and hiring managers.

Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, said that having a goal to work towards has been key in pushing themselves to do more to support LGBTI+ team members and promote a truly inclusive work environment.

“We’re one of New Zealand’s largest employers and our team is as diverse as New Zealand itself.  Working towards the Rainbow Tick has helped us be confident about what we’re doing well to support our LGBTI+ team members, but also to look at where we need to challenge ourselves to do better.”

“Embracing diversity is part of our core values, and we care deeply about our team and doing the right thing. Our diversity is absolutely part of our strength; we reflect the communities we are part of, and we want each and every one of our 18,400 Countdown team members to feel proud and safe to be who they are.”

The achievement is part of Countdown’s 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility pledge it made earlier in the year. The Rainbow Tick certification process tests whether a workplace understands, values, and welcomes sexual and gender diversity across a range of different measures.

Michael Stevens from Rainbow Tick said that Countdown has demonstrated it is a welcoming and inclusive employer for people from Rainbow communities. “This was made clear to us by our assessment process, especially from the input of those who self-identify as part of the Rainbow communities. They have made a strong commitment to furthering this work internally, shown how this work aligns with their values, and we are confident in welcoming Countdown to the Rainbow Tick network.”

Rainbow Tick process is to regularly survey and report back to the executive team on the safety and inclusion of LGBTI+ team members when they are at work. Countdown has also supported its team to be part of Wear it Purple Day, Winter Pride in Queenstown and Pride events in Auckland and Wellington.