ASB has become the New Zealand’s first bank to commit to formal benchmarks around LGBTI inclusion in the workplace through participation in the Rainbow Tick programme.

ASB is also a subsidiary of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank and the Rainbow Tick is an external audit and quality improvement program designed to make an organisation a safe, welcoming and inclusive place for people of diverse gender identity and sexual orientation.

ASB also announced their sponsorship of the New Zealand Falcons gay rugby club (pictured), supporting the club’s attendance at the Bingham Cup, the world’s biggest gay rugby tournament that Sydney will host in August.

The Bingham Cup will see teams from 15 countries come together to celebrate diversity in sport.

ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman said her bank’s participation in the Rainbow Tick program and support of the Falcons reflected a belief in the importance of diversity across all levels of the company.

“There’s an enormous body of evidence that points to the benefits that diversity of thought, insights, perspectives and experiences bring to organisational performance,” she said.

“We truly want people from all groups to bring their ‘whole selves’ to work and to create dynamic and innovative teams attuned to all our customers.

“Displaying the Rainbow Tick is a public demonstration of our commitment to ensure that as an organisation, we are creating an inclusive environment for members of the LGBTI communities.”

“(The Bingham Cup is also) a fantastic opportunity for us to throw our support behind a team of passionate New Zealand rugby players competing on the world stage.”

Rainbow Tick program director Michael Stevens said that they were delighted with the opportunity to work with ASB.

“ASB is… demonstrating leadership in this field and their commitment to fostering a truly welcoming environment for staff of all backgrounds regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” he said.

The Rainbow Tick Audit will evaluate ASB’s level of LGBTI inclusion across a number of areas including policy, training, staff engagement and organisational support, external engagement and monitoring.

If necessary, recommendations will be made and support provided in order to achieve best practice standards in diversity and inclusiveness, and the Rainbow Tick certification is reassessed regularly.

ASB has also recently launched an internal LGBTI community network called Unity, which aims to promote awareness and discussion and to create and maintain a supportive and inclusive workplace that is free from bullying, harassment and discrimination. The Commonwealth Bank in Australia has a similar program in their workplace.

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