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Royal Society Te Apārangi Diversity Policy

Table of Contents


Embracing diversity in all we do is identified as a cross-cutting theme in the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Strategic Plan 2018--2021.

The purpose of this Diversity Policy is to outline the Royal Society of New Zealand’s commitment to providing an inclusive and diverse environment throughout the Society, and the practical application of the Policy across the organisation and in all its processes and activities.

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  • To embrace diversity in all Society activities, with particular emphasis on those involving panel- and committee-based evaluation and assessment processes, and public lectures and other events.
  • To provide an environment of equal employment opportunity, where all employees are treated fairly and with respect, and where diversity is embraced and supported.
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Diversity is defined as a variety of characteristics that make individuals unique. The key aspects that we are seeking are diversity of perspective, skills and knowledge, as these attributes are most likely to assist the Society in delivering better outcomes for our constituency.

Diversity can arise through a number of different characteristics including, but not limited to, the following; gender, ethnic background, employment context, religion, marital status, culture, disability, economic background, education, and sexual orientation.

Different backgrounds, communication styles, life-skills and interpersonal skills are also considered valuable in building diverse teams, panels and committees. When people believe their life experiences will be valued and when their views will be heard with respect, diversity of perspective, skills and knowledge takes centre stage and as a result efficiency and productivity increase.


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Policy overview

This policy provides guidance on implementing the Society’s diversity philosophy.

There is commitment from the Council and Chief Executive supported by a visible diversity policy statement on our website. 

The value in different viewpoints and perspectives offered by people of different backgrounds, age, experience, ethnicity and gender is considered to lead to more informed decision making, greater innovation and better outcomes for our stakeholders. 

We believe that recognising and embracing diversity provides the opportunity to make our organisation stronger, leads to increased morale, and is an essential element in the long term success of the Society. 

Appendix 1 outlines the key metrics and Appendix 2 gives some policy guidance.

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Implementation plan


Policy objectives




Commit to diversity and inclusiveness

Diversity policy signed off by Society Council

Diversity champion(s) appointed and publicised

Statement on website

Establish and embed diversity and inclusiveness as a core value through management responsibilities and training, and in administration of processes

Publish statement of commitment

Develop a culture of diversity and inclusiveness in the Society

Appoint a diversity champion(s)

Add a statement on website to emphasise inclusiveness and diversity

Needs and gaps identified and training initiated for a diverse perspective in activities

Chairs and convenors manage panels to minimise unconscious bias


Ensure Chief Executive, Directors and senior staff have the necessary knowledge for their activities

All Chairs and Convenors to actively participate in unconscious bias training.


Ensure competency for managing diversity and inclusiveness


Report provided on individual activities

Employment interview panels represent diversity

Ensure that staff take ownership and commit to diversity and inclusiveness

All employment interview panels have at least 30% women

Positive enforcement in the workplace

Understand diversity and inclusiveness issues


Develop ways of addressing lack of diversity and inclusiveness

Undertake analysis of all activities across the Society

Review diversity and inclusiveness issues across the


Establish frameworks for managing diversity and inclusiveness

Documentation available on Society intranet

Develop documented procedures, regular training

Implement formal procedures for each relevant Society activity

Monitor, report and review

Report to management and Council

Metrics publically available

Develop key leading indicators of performance in diversity and inclusiveness

Report results of metrics and reviews to management

Results at 30 June to be published annually on website.

Report key metrics

Review activities and performance

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Appendix 1 - Key metrics

Metrics for diversity and inclusiveness at the Society

Leading metrics


Composition of Panels and committees administered by the Society

Comparison of targeted and actual levels for composition of those from under-represented groups



All decision-making panels have more than a third of their members drawn from under-represented groups i.e. consider gender, employment context, ethnicity, early-career etc.

Results for the year to be published annually at 30 June.


Nominations and applications for Society activities

Comparison of targeted and actual levels for composition of those from under-represented groups


At least 30% of nominations/applications in all nomination rounds are from people from under-represented group.


Under-represented groups involved/speaking at Society talks and events

Comparison of targeted and actual levels for composition of those from under-represented groups


At least 30% of speakers events organised by the Society are from people from under-represented groups.

Results for the year at 30 June to be published annually on website.


Composition of under-represented groups in Society workforce i.e. Council and staff

Comparison of targeted and actual levels for under-represented groups, e.g., gender and ethnicity composition, of the Society’s staff including management and Council

At least 30% from under-represented groups.

Results for the year at 30 June to be published annually on website.


Recruitment processes

Number of activities that have specific requirements to ensure inclusiveness, e. g, diverse composition of interview panels

Inclusion of a statement in job advertisements welcoming applications and nominations from under-represented groups.

All interview panels have at least a third women

Training and development

Percentage of staff completing relevant training in diversity, appropriate to their role

Staff have been trained appropriately for their respective roles

Communication of diversity policies

Development of appropriate communication strategy on diversity initiatives

Diversity initiatives are publicised on the Society’s website

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Appendix 2 - Policy guidance

Measurement and reporting

The Council will set measurable objectives designed to adhere to the objectives and guidance in this Policy.

Management will measure progress against the objectives in this Diversity Policy on an annual basis and report to the Council. 

The Council will review the Diversity Policy on an annual basis to ensure it continues to promote a holistic approach to diversity within the organisation, and will make any appropriate changes at this time.

For the 2017/2018 year, the Society aims to have:

  • at least 30% of nominations/applications in all nomination rounds from under-represented groups;
  • at least 30% of speakers in events organised by the Society from under-represented groups;
  • at least 30% of the Society workforce .i.e. Council and staff from under-represented groups.
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Appointment to evaluation and selection panels

The Council and the Academy Executive Committee regularly reviews the mix of skills, capabilities and diversity on all Society panels (i. e internal staff activities; committees appointed by staff; and committees appointed by the Academy Executive Committee and by Council) to ensure effective procedures are followed. 

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All people involved in recruitment and development processes at the Society must take into consideration the value of diversity within a team and the work environment when considering candidates for roles. Candidates are selected based on their merits and the value they can bring to the Society.

People involved in selecting and recruiting candidates are encouraged to actively seek out people with diverse skills, backgrounds and capabilities when considering candidates for roles within the Society. 

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Working environment

 The Society will act as a “good employer” and will be an organisation that provides and supports an environment where employees feel valued and respected; where difference is celebrated and diversity encouraged; where there is active staff engagement; transparency in rules, policies and procedures; clear complaints procedures and regular feedback; and where personnel policies and procedures are established which are consistent with being a good employer.

This policy was updated July 2017

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