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Spark & OUTLine take LGBTQIA+ message to NZ workplaces

10 Feb 2020

Spark has teamed up with LGBTQIA+ support charity OUTLine to take the message of individuality to workplaces throughout the country.

The two companies have created a new film that focuses on recruitment of those within the LGBTQIA+ community, with a key message to employers: individuality is a strength that should be welcomed.

A recent report from the University of Waikato that the health and wellbeing of trans and non-binary people in Aotearoa found that the unemployment rate among this group was more than double the general population, and more than a quarter of respondents reported that they suspect their gender expression or appearance made it harder to get paid work.

The recent 2019 New Zealand Workplace Diversity Survey by Diversity Works and Massey University revealed that there is a growing awareness of the impact bias has on workplace decisions, with 63% of organisations indicating it’s an important issue, compared with 42% in 2018.

Spark created a new documentary-style video that touches on what it’s like for trans and non-binary people going through the recruitment process. It’s about not only affirming that OUTLine is here to support them, but also that resources for employers seeking to foster more inclusive workplaces are available.

Pride@Spark coordinator Riki Hollings says that Spark has more work to do before it becomes a truly inclusive workplace, but he is proud of the progress it has made in the last few years.

“Ensuring people know that OUTLine’s support and resources are available, not only for potential candidates, but for employers and organisations, is imperative. And having such an amazing talent like Princess on board this year helps paint a picture and bring to life the common struggles many of us face as members of the rainbow community,” says Hollings.

OUTLine general manager Claire Black adds that it is important for OUTLine to extend its support of the rainbow community by using its knowledge to encourage and support other organisations on their journey to creating truly inclusive workplaces.

“With resources available on our website, we’re looking to help enhance the level of understanding employers have of trans and non-binary people so that they can then better support their employees,” Black comments.

“OUTLine, along with much of the rainbow community, really appreciates Spark’s unwavering support in creating space for these conversations – we feel they are truly standing with us.”

OUTLine is a charitable organisation that offers a free and confidential support phoneline to members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their friends and family, a transgender peer support service for trans and non-binary people in Auckland, and specialist face-to-face and Skype counselling exploring gender and sexuality for LGBTIQ+ people across Aotearoa.