The Health Quality & Safety Commission is proud to be the latest organisation to receive the Rainbow Tick – a sign that we welcome, understand and value sexual and gender diversity.
The Rainbow Tick is awarded to organisations who complete a diversity and inclusion process, which assesses whether or not a workplace understands, values, and welcomes sexual and gender diversity.
Dr Chris Walsh, director of Partners in Care and chair of the Commission’s Rainbow Connection group, says the tick is confirmation of the inclusive atmosphere at the Commission.
‘We were pleased to see it highlighted in the final report that, of the rainbow-identifying staff interviewed during the process, all of them felt safe and secure to be themselves and talk freely of their lives outside of work.
‘There was a strong sense of inclusion and support.’
It was noted by the Rainbow Tick organisation that the level of detail and evidence provided in the Commission’s self-assessment and staff focus groups, far outweighed the requirements for an organisation of its size.
‘Achieving the Rainbow Tick allows us to show employees, prospective employees, stakeholders and the wider world that we are a progressive, inclusive and dynamic organisation,’ says Dr Walsh.
The Commission has championed pride in a number of ways including the establishment of the Rainbow Connection – an inclusive group of staff who discuss issues relevant to the LGBTQIA+ community in relation to health care in New Zealand.
The Rainbow Connection was formed in 2018 and focuses on improving health services and outcomes for people of all genders and sexualities, a necessary component of equity in health. It also has an internal focus, which makes sure the Commission is, and remains, an inclusive and safe workplace for employees who identify as LGBTQIA+. It was this group that led the process to become Rainbow Tick certified.
The term ‘rainbow’ encompasses people who are LGBTQIA+ or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui and intersex.
Although we have the tick, Dr Walsh says, the hard work is not over.
‘We must continue to work towards equity in the health care system for all New Zealanders.’
The Rainbow Tick is a not-for-profit organisation, owned by Ngati Whatua iwi. Its parent company is Kahui Tu Kaha, a community mental health service provider.