Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion lie at the heart of human rights. It is about respect of “self” and of others. This provision in the NZEE human rights policy reflects the reality that everyone is in some way different from everyone else. That is what makes us unique individuals.

Accepting diversity and inclusion means that uniqueness is accepted, respected, and celebrated by you, as an employer, and by and between employees. Inclusion means leaving no one person or indeed group behind, that practices aren’t exclusionary and that we all work to ensure everyone feels part of the team and is comfortable bringing their whole self to work.

The NZEE Human Rights policy sets out the most common areas where exclusion and a lack of diversity can occur. Some of these exist in our laws, others reflect acceptance regardless of the law. Remember it is never illegal to do more than the law requires. Achieving respect for human rights often involves going beyond the law to ensure harm to people does not occur and if it has, remedy the harm, and stop its recurrence.

For clarity its worth repeating what the policy prohibits -” We support workplaces that are inclusive of all and are therefore free from discrimination or harassment based on race, sex, colour, national or social origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identification or expression, political opinion or any other status protected by applicable law”. It’s important to remember that diversity is less about what makes people different—their race, socioeconomic status, and so on—and more about understanding, accepting, and valuing those differences.

It goes on to clearly state that opportunities, hiring, development, pay etc will only be determined based on a person’s qualifications, performance, skills, and experience. This is not rocket science and is a means of walking the talk of treating others as you would wish to be treated.

As a team, working together, certain unspoken characteristics can emerge that could be seen as offensive by others, particularly someone new joining that team. Monitor to make sure these behaviours don’t occur, and regularly remind yourself and your employees of the standard expected and that no one is subjected to any form of retaliation should they raise a concern.

Diversity – All the ways in which people differ.

Equity – Fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people. One’s identity cannot predict the outcome.

Inclusion – Various team members, employees, and other people feel a sense of belonging and value within a given organisational setting.


Tūhana Business and Human Rights is NZEE’s Human Rights Foundation Partner, to help members implement the UNGP framework in their operations and help identify and prioritize the risks they pose to people through their own business operations and supply chain and develop responses that look to prevent, mitigate, or remedy human rights issues.