White Camellia Award winners understand holistic approach to gender equity is key to change

An organisation-wide commitment to supporting gender equality has seen one of New Zealand’s largest companies named the supreme winner at this year’s White Camellia Awards.

Coca Cola Amatil won one of the seven category awards, recognising the company’s transparent reporting processes on gender equality, before being named the supreme winner.

The White Camellia Awards recognise organisations that are promoting gender equity through the international United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs).
WEPs Committee member and EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says in a statement that companies which commit to the seven principles create a platform for true gender equity in their organisation.

“To make progress toward these principles requires planned actions and targeted policies by CEOs and organisations.”

Judging convenor Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie, chief executive of the EEO Trust, says the judges were impressed by Coca Cola Amatil’s holistic approach across all the principles.
“The commitment to gender equity is apparent throughout Coca Cola Amatil’s business, it’s supported by policy, by the leadership team, by the programmes they run and in the day-to-day practices of the people who work there.”

“That’s when real change happens, when the commitment to gender equality is adopted throughout the business.”

One of New Zealand’s oldest companies also took out a White Camellia Award for establishing effective leadership for gender equality in their organisation.

Auckland Chamber of Commerce is one of the country’s oldest organisations with a 158-year history but it was the first signatory to UN WEP in New Zealand and has made a commitment to a gender equality at an operational level.

The Chamber’s board has strong representation of women and its executive team is 80 percent women.

Other winners at this year’s White Camellia Awards include Chapman Tripp, Westpac, Sovereign, Simpson Grierson, ANZ and Bell Gully. The awards were launched in 2013 and this year attracted 25 percent more entries.

“We applaud all the companies that entered the awards this year. They have all taken a great step in committing to these principles and opening themselves to being judged is really commendable – hopefully we’ll see them on the winners list in the future.”

UN Women says ensuring the inclusion of women’s talents, skills, experience and energies “requires intentional actions and deliberate policies”.

“The Women’s Empowerment Principles, a partnership initiative of UN Women and UN Global Compact (UNGC) provide a set of considerations to help the private sector focus on key elements integral to promoting gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.”

The awards took place at The Northern Club in Auckland on Thursday 17 September 2015.

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