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As a company, we pride ourselves in encouraging employees to bring their whole selves to work. We make a special effort to ensure employees feel comfortable and accepted, as we wholeheartedly welcome diversity.

On Sunday 10th March 2019, we were thrilled to participate in our first ever Big Gay Out. This elaborate day is a large event within the Auckland Pride Festival, which occurs annually in March. It was a fun-filled, scorching hot day, with more than 70 team members and their families attending.

Pejman Okhovat, CEO of The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery, attended the event on Sunday with his family. He said he is really proud to work for the Warehouse Group “where inclusivity is part of our DNA - we have led the way with our internal policies that provide a support environment for our team.”

However, this isn’t the only initiative in support of this year’s Auckland Pride festival. We have also changed the colour of the lights on our Store Support Office in Northcote to multicoloured, as part of stating our support for the Rainbow Community.

Here at The Warehouse Group we are committed to supporting this community, not just during Auckland Pride Festival, but all year round. This ties in with one of our core values, Here for Good, as well as our overall mission of Helping Kiwis Live Better Every day.

Each year we are building on this commitment by increasing our active support, not only for our employees who are members of LGBT community, but also our customers, and the wider New Zealand community.

We are also striving towards gaining the Rainbow Tick Accreditation by 2019, which we are proudly on track for. This tick is awarded to companies that understand, value and welcome sexual and gender diversity.

Our active support for this community began in 2017, when we implemented several related policies for our employees.

The Transgender policy provides employees with up to 10 days paid leave to attend medical related appointments that are associated with a medical transition.

Another associated policy is related to suicide. Statistics show that members of the LGBT community are around five times more likely to attempt suicide. Our policy includes reimbursing team members for a visit to their GP when they tell their doctor they are contemplating suicide and paid time off to attend related appointments. Employees will also have free access to our Organisational Counselling Programme, or to email in confidence.

We take the responsibility of supporting this community seriously, as we are aware of the importance of an inclusive workplace. Rohan Foster, User Support Analyst from our Store Support Office says that a workplace needs to be inclusive and accepting, regardless of people’s differences, in order “to promote growth and to create a workplace that allows you to bring your whole self to work and be authentic.”

Look out for our article in this month’s Express Magazine, where you’ll hear more of our employees discussing their experiences at The Warehouse Group, their thoughts on the biggest issue facing the Pride community, and why it’s important for a workplace to celebrate the Rainbow Community.

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