The Warehouse Group employs over 12000 people – from all different backgrounds and stages of life. Working with such a large and diverse variety of people means that it is important to us to celebrate diversity and inclusion. To show our support and respect for our LGBTQI+ team members and their community, on Saturday February 17th we participated in the Auckland Pride Festival Pride Parade.
Our pride committee worked extremely hard to make our first Pride Parade a memorable one. Matt Hadley – The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery Store Design and Development Manager – worked on designing our float for the parade, ensuring that it stood out and represented the rainbow community as a corporation by keeping it simple but theatrical with a hint of glitter. The highlight on the float were three drag queens known as The Bangaway Sisters giving live performances and of course – our dancing team members!
Lead Designer Jade Turner also designed a T-Shirt for our team members to wear during the parade. The shirt showcases our hashtag – #KiwiPride, as well as the rainbow motif to symbolise our commitment to a diverse and inclusive work place. The back of the shirt shows our group logo which has been given a fresh coat of rainbow paint for the occasion.
Participating in the Pride Parade was not only important to our team members but also to our leaders. CEO of The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery, Pejman Okhovat, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity to share with our 12000 employees, who come from every walk of life, and provides support for them to be the best they can be and whoever they want to be. Being a member of an ethnic minority group himself he understands the importance of a workplace that makes people feel safe and comfortable with who they are.
Our participation in the Auckland Pride Parade is only one of multiple ways in which we show our support for the LGBTQI+ community. In 2017, we implemented a Gender Transition Policy, which supports team members who are going through, or are considering gender transition by offering them 10 days paid leave as well as a personalized support plan. We are also working on receiving the Rainbow Tick, which is an accreditation awarded to companies that complete a diversity and inclusion certification process.
Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Waecker also took part in organising the Pride Parade and says: “The programmes and the actions that The Warehouse Group is taking do everything we can to ensure that we are fully supporting our employees, who make up some of New Zealand’s most diverse workforce. We support our employees regardless of their gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or identity, and it’s having those policies in place that makes this a very proud place for me to work”
We are Kiwi Proud, we are Proud Kiwis and we have Kiwi Pride!