By , Published 27th August, 2015.
Sovereign, New Zealand’s largest life insurer, was awarded the Work Life Balance Award at the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust (EEO Trust) Diversity Awards held at The Langham, Auckland on August 26.
Sovereign CEO Symon Brewis-Weston said people were the company’s most valuable asset and building an inclusive work environment that promotes work-life balance was a priority.
“Providing opportunities for staff to embrace healthy living, wellbeing and diversity is very important to us. We want to do everything we can to create an environment where staff build resilience, enjoy what they do and thrive. Our approach includes flexible working hours, regular healthy living challenges, a strong community partnership programme and investment into training,” says Brewis-Weston.
Sovereign’s community partnership programme was designed to make a difference to New Zealand communities in the area of mental health and wellbeing, with a specific focus on youth.
Community partners include Child Matters, Sweet Louise, Youthline, Conservation Volunteers, The Hunger Project and the AUT Human Potential Centre. The latter developing the Sovereign Wellbeing Index, which provides insights into the wellbeing of 10,000 New Zealanders and compares how we are faring on an international level.
Volunteer opportunities are widely promoted throughout the company, with staff receiving a paid volunteer day every year.
“Volunteering has a really positive impact on our wellbeing and creates a sense of purpose and community within Sovereign. That’s why we empower our staff to give their time and skills to organisations where they can make a difference.”
Sovereign was also recognised for its wellbeing programme which includes a focus on healthy living and company-wide challenges.
A recent example was the SHIFT challenge, a team-based walking challenge where teams were issued pedometers and earned points for the number of steps they took over a four-week period. The challenge quickly became competitive as 354 participating staff members did everything they could to get more steps into their day.
Staff were also encouraged to take part in the Sovereign Tri Series with training support, discounts and workshops organised to support them. Meantime, Brewis-Weston issued a challenge to the corporate sector, offering $25,000 to the charity of choice for the CEO who encouraged the most of his or her staff to take part.
Now in their 18th year, the EEO Trust Diversity awards celebrate organisations across New Zealand that are leading the way in workplace diversity.
EEO Trust Chief Executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie says that the continued and measurable increase in the number and quality of entries, is a positive reflection of how much the diversity landscape has changed in recent years.
“Each year we continue to see increasing representation in the types of industries and size of businesses, who are standing up to be counted and actively making diversity and inclusion a part of everyday practice in their workplaces. This makes me feel extremely encouraged about the future diversity landscape for business in New Zealand and reinforces what we are doing here at the EEO Trust; helping to support business on their journey towards truly inclusive workplaces”, says Cassidy-Mackenzie.
Visit: www.diversityawards.org.nz for the full list of winners.
For further information or interviews please contact:
Sovereign PR Manager
Phone: 09 487 5602
Mobile: 021 776 852