Tourism operator wins supreme diversity award

Tourism operator Real Journeys’ training initiative utilising the experience of its aging workers to provide exceptional learning opportunities for young people in the Otago and Southland regions has won it the top prize at the 20th Diversity Awards New Zealand.

The company, which operates the TSS Earnslaw, cruising in Doubtful and Milford Sound and the Stewart Island ferries, has become the country’s biggest maritime training employer behind the Navy with its scheme to use launch masters nearing retirement to formally train and informally mentor the next generation of skippers.

Diversity Works NZ Chief Executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie says the initiative has provided solutions for both older and younger members of the company’s workforce; it’s given the older workers a valuable role in passing on their skills, and created opportunities for younger workers to gain qualifications and progress their jobs into a career.

“Real Journeys is not just learning about diversity and inclusion, it’s living it every day as part of its operation. The company is exposing visitors to some of the most beautiful parts of our country to an inclusive workplace culture in action,” she says.

“They are deserving winners and prove that diversity and inclusion is not solely the domain of corporations based in big cities; it’s alive and well in heartland New Zealand.”

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Diversity Awards NZ, which recognise and celebrate the New Zealand businesses and organisations championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace – and reaping the benefits.

Judging Convenor Sarah Haydon was particularly impressed by the breadth of entries across the nine categories, which came from a wide range of industries and from organisations of all sizes.

She says every entrant in this year’s Diversity Awards is worthy of recognition, and can take pride in what they have achieved in the context of their own workplace, and where they are on their diversity journey.
“They are all recognising the importance of every individual in their organisations.”

Diversity Awards NZ 2017 Award winners:

Supreme Award – Real Journeys
Tomorrow’s Workforce Award – Real Journeys 
Empowerment Award – Air New Zealand
Skills Highway Award – Waste Management NZ Ltd
Positive Inclusion Award – ANZ
Cultural Celebration Award – Māori Women’s Development Inc
Diversability Award – Coffee Educators Ltd
Work Life Balance Award – Lion
Walk the Talk Award – Fatu Patolo, Coca-Cola Amatil
Emerging Diversity and Inclusion Award – The Warehouse Group

Highly Commended Awards:

Russell McVeagh – Tomorrow’s Workforce
Fletcher Building Limited – Emerging Diversity and Inclusion Award
Elizabeth Knox Home & Hospital – Cultural Celebration Award