Striving for Betterment
Global events throughout 2020 shone a spotlight on the deep-rooted racial discrimination and bias problems that exist within our communities. These global events have engaged and compelled us to acknowledge racism, the damage it continues to inflict and has made us ask ourselves: what are we going to do about changing that?
At Ozone, we are focused on championing better work lives for our people, and ensuring that diversity and inclusion flourishes in all forms. We are making this commitment not only as a business, but as a group of human beings too.
As a business, we are choosing to be part of the change that the world desperately needs for a more equal, fair and just future. We acknowledge that we all have a responsibility to ensure that no person is treated differently, discriminated against or denied opportunities simply due to the colour of their skin, their race, gender, religion, family situation, or who they love. We are committed to stepping up, stamping out prejudice in all forms and building a diverse and supportive culture of respect, fairness and opportunity.
As a business, we adamantly believe that we don’t just benefit from diversity, we survive because of it.
Racism in our community, and in our business:
Racism is an issue that exists in societies throughout the world. It exists in the communities within which we operate and where we do business. It exists in the communities and lives of our customers and employees. And because of this sad fact, it is an issue that we must recognise exists within our business too. As an employer, a supplier, a customer and simply as part of the community - we are committed to taking ownership of this fact, and working together to drive real change in our business and in our world.
We are a business with strong values. The spotlight that has been cast on racism globally is helping us ensure we continue to live up to those values, to constantly challenge ourselves, our worlds, our actions, and at times – perhaps our inaction.
We acknowledge that, despite our best intentions, we won’t get things right every time. But by having a commitment to trying and to striving for betterment, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to grow, be better and to proactively care for and listen to ALL the people that live within our business and community networks.
Striving for betterment is a core part of our organisational DNA, and this huge societal issue is no exception.
The immediate actions we are taking as a business are as follows:
- ESTABLISHMENT OF A DIVERSITY COMMITTEE:
We will be establishing a Diversity Committee composed of employees from all levels and parts of the business. It will be voluntary, and the Committee will be tasked with shaping our diversity and inclusion goals, guiding policies and commitments, promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and, most importantly, holding the business and Senior Management accountable for tangible outcomes. We will explore options for how the Committee is established, outside of the traditional business structure, to ensure it is impartial and is able to hold the business to account.
- THE INTRODUCTION OF AN EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION POLICY:
Drafted in consultation with the wider business, we have immediately introduced a standalone Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. Adhering to and embracing this policy is now a specific condition of employment with us, and any breach of this condition will be considered gross misconduct and subject to investigation.
- FORMALISING OUR COMMITMENT TO EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION (ED&I):
We will formalise our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion through measurable goals and KPIs within our People and Culture 5-year Plan. These KPIs will be agreed to at Board level, ensuring every part of the business is accountable in realising these goals.
We will review our policies and measure our progress regularly, be transparent around how well we are doing, and in what areas we need to improve. We are specifically committed to reaching out to our racial and ethnic minority employees, and taking the time to listen and learn from their experiences and perspectives as we develop these policies.
- ANONYMOUS FEEDBACK AND COMPLAINTS:
We will use online platforms to provide an ongoing and accessible mechanism for the submission of anonymous feedback and complaints. Any feedback or complaint provided which addresses racist and/ or discriminatory behaviour within our business will be shared with the Diversity Committee, therefore making sure that all feedback is heard loudly and widely across the business.
- DIVERSITY TRAINING FOR ALL EMPLOYEES:
As part of a wider commitment to introducing broader diversity and inclusion training for all of our employees, we will also be committing to providing specific training on unconscious racial bias. Attending such training will be a compulsory condition of every team member’s employment contract.
- IMPROVING DIVERSITY IN OUR TALENT POOL:
People are not able to take advantage of opportunities of which they are not aware. We are committed to advertising new roles on a variety of platforms, and working with local community outreach groups to seek advice on how best to add diversity to our talent pool.
We commit to offering mentoring and guidance to racial and ethnic minority people in order to support and encourage them to pursue a career in coffee and hospitality industries. We also commit to working with Government and community outreach groups to explore formal apprenticeship programmes which will hopefully encourage racial and ethnic minorities to work with us.
We commit to using inclusive language in job advertisements and creating brand imagery that celebrates our racial and ethnic minority employees and promotes diversity in general.
- COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND ACTIVISM:
We will continue to play an active part in the communities within which we operate and ensure that any activity is reflective of, and benefits these communities. We will explore the introduction of such initiatives as an annual paid volunteering day for all staff, fundraising for community outreach programmes and attendance at social activism activities that resonate specifically with any team member.
- COMMITMENT TO A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF MĀORITANGA, MĀORI/ PAKEHA HISTORY AND THE USE OF TE REO MĀORI:
As a business with proud Kiwi roots, we have often included Te Reo Māori in both our external and internal communications, mainly as a way of celebrating and promoting our origins. However, regardless of intention, it is important that if we do choose to use Te Reo, we ensure it is always used correctly, in context, with respect, and most importantly – as part of a much wider commitment to better understanding and embracing Māoritanga and Māori history.
We commit to reaching out to Māori representatives and organisations within our communities, and seeking informal and formal cultural consultancy and advice which will enable us to realise our commitments.
- USING OUR ECONOMIC POWER FOR GOOD:
As a group, we are committed to using our combined buying power and influence to support positive change. We commit to applying the same equality, diversity and inclusion guidelines set internally to those with whom we do business. We will immediately review any commercial relationship we have with any business, either as a supplier or a customer, that displays discriminatory or racist behaviour and processes.