This guide discusses what diversity in the workplace entails.
EEO (Equal Employment Opportunities) means eliminating barriers to ensure that all potential
employees are considered for the employment of their choice, and that they have the chance to
perform to their maximum.
In 1990 when the Employment Equity Act 1990 was repealed, the Working Party on Equity in
Employment was established. On the Working Party's recommendation, the Equal Employment
Opportunities (EEO) Trust was established in 1992 to promote the business benefits of equal
employment opportunities to all employers throughout New Zealand. EEO Trust is known today as
Diversity Works New Zealand (DWNZ).
DWNZ is a charitable trust and membership organisation with a mixture of public, private sector and
not-for-profit members. Its operations are managed by a small team based in Auckland, and it is
governed by a Board of Trustees. Funding comes from membership donations, government funds and
DWNZ’s aim is the voluntary promotion of equal employment opportunities to employers as good
business practice. The functions of the organisation include the promotion of the benefits of EEO
practices, developing EEO resource material, and liaising with employer and union networks and
tertiary institutions to promote the organisation’s resources and services.
Since its inception, DWNZ has worked to move employers from awareness and acceptance of EEO,
to action. This is achieved from the four platforms of partnership, research, information and
It is, of course, possible to be an “EEO” employer without being a member of DWNZ’s Employers
Group; however membership of this group allows employers to use DWNZ’s logo. Additionally,
members are seen as employers of choice by applicants, employees, clients, the media and the
public. This perception is based on evidence: DWNZ Employers Group members are more likely than
other employers to be active in diversity and EEO activities on a range of benchmarks.
In the current employment environment being an EEO employer means that it is your policy to
encourage and accommodate difference in the workplace, not only as a means of ensuring
compliance with the Human Rights Act 1993, but also as a means to attract a broad base of skills
and talent from all sectors of society.
Being an EEO employer (as a member of DWNZ’s Employers Group) means implementing EEO policies
and programmes throughout your organisation. It may also involve developing a policy statement,
appointing an EEO manager or coordinator, conducting a workforce assessment to determine its
current make-up, implementing meetings, training and orientation courses to educate your
workforce on EEO issues and strategies.
An EEO policy impacts on many aspects of employment. It affects your recruitment and selection
of employees and your training and staff development. It is a living policy that changes as your
organisation, and the workplace, changes. It can be especially relevant to working conditions, the
working environment, and in preventing harassment.

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