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White Camellia Awards 2017 at Government House in Wellington

The UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) committee of New Zealand were delighted to have Her Excellency, the Governor General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy and His Excellency Sir David Gascoigne host the White Camellia Awards at Government House on Suffrage Day when we celebrated the work of businesses and organisations that are putting gender equality strategies into their workplace.
The partner organisations of the WEPs committee (UN Women Committee Aotearoa NZ, the Human Rights Commission, Business and Professional Women New Zealand, Diversity Works NZ and Zonta International District 16) wish to congratulate the winners of the 2017 awards for their achievements in working to promote gender equity.
During June and July WEPs signatories are asked to complete a questionnaire looking at how they are progressing in implementing the seven principles.  This survey is hosted and analysed by Professor Gail Pacheco from the NZ Work Research Institute and from the results of the survey a judging panel determines who wins each of the awards.   The report on the 2017 annual survey (with some great examples of innovative practice) can be downloaded from the resources page on the WEPs website.
http://www.weps.org.nz/resources
 

The award winners for 2017 were:

Principle 1 (Leadership promoting gender equality): Simpson Grierson
James Winchester, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Heather Ash, Sir David Gascoigne
 
Principle 2 (Equal opportunity, inclusion and non-discrimination): KPMG
Sonia Isaac, Souella Cumming, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy with Sir David Gascoigne
 
Principle 3 (Health, safety and freedom from violence): The Warehouse Group
Julie Simpson, Anna Campbell, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy with Sir David Gascoigne
Principle 4 (Education and Training): Simpson Grierson
Jo Copeland, James Winchester, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy with Sir David Gascoigne
 
Principle 5 (Enterprise development, supply chain & marketing practices): The Warehouse Group
Julie Simpson, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Anna Campbell, Sir David Gascoigne
Principle 6 (Community leadership and engagement): Westpac
Cat Feaunati, Sandra Henderson, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy with Sir David Gascoigne
Principle 7 (Transparency, measuring and reporting): Coca-cola Amatil
Emma Rutherford, Heidi Somerville, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy with Sir David Gascoigne
 
Small business/organisation Award: Far North Safer Community Council
Rowena Jones, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Ciaran Torrington, Sir David Gascoigne
 
Supreme Award Winner: Simpson Grierson
James Winchester, Heather Ash, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy with Sir David Gascoigne
Law firm Simpson Grierson took out the top award as their overall commitment to improving gender equality in their workplace put them head and shoulders above the rest.
This year we also included a new award for small businesses and organisations, with the inaugural winner being the Far North Safer Community Council.
All our award winners are to be congratulated on their innovation, commitment and vision in building gender equal workplaces.  WEPs is a win/win.  The McKinsey Global Institute reports that individual companies which empower women increase their financial results by 15% or more.  A win for organisations that pick up and run with WEPs and also a win for society as cultural changes in the workplace drive gender equity which will help build an inclusive and respectful society.
Congratulations to our winners and congratulations too for so many other signatories who made big strides in their gender equity journey over the past year.  They can feel very proud of the part they play in building holistic workplace policies that empower women and for the ripple effect this is having through our communities.
And for those wondering why the WEPs Awards are named the White Camellia awards: In 1893 the suffragists presented a white camellia flower to those members of the House of Representatives who voted in favour of women gaining the vote. We carry on the tradition of using the white camellia as a symbol of the empowerment of women. 
Keynote speaker for the evening was Theresa Gattung, entrepreneur and business woman.  Theresa reminded all present of the huge odds that Kate Sheppard and her colleagues overcame to make suffrage for women a reality and that the challenge to be committed to change was also needed today.  Theresa’s speech can be found at http://www.weps.org.nz/resources 
It was an inspiring and memorable event and it was great to honour the work done by our award winners.
 
Vicky Mee
Chair UN WEPs New Zealand committee
 
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IN THIS E-NEWS:

1. 2017 WEPs Awards at Government House in Wellington
2. The awards winners for 2017 were:
  • Principle 1 (Leadership promoting gender equality): Simpson Grierson
  • Principle 2 (Equal opportunity, inclusion and non-discrimination): KPMG
  • Principle 3 (Health, safety and freedom from violence): The Warehouse Group
  • Principle 4 (Education and Training): Simpson Grierson
  • Principle 5 (Enterprise development, supply chain & marketing practices): The Warehouse Group
  • Principle 6 (Community leadership and engagement): Westpac
  • Principle 7 (Transparency, measuring and reporting): Coca-cola Amatil
  • Small business/organisation Award: Far North Safer Community Council
Supreme Award Winner: Simpson Grierson

A word from Vicky Mee - The Chair of WEPs
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