Diversity and inclusion
We’re working to build a better future for our team, customers, communities, New Zealand and beyond.
Bring your whole self to work
Be unique. Be authentic. However you prefer to say it, we really mean it. Our culture embraces people’s diverse perspectives and creates a positive environment where everyone belongs.
At Meridian we support and value all of the different experiences and views that our people bring. Diversity and Inclusion is not about how you look, it's about how you think. Anyone can be successful at Meridian.
The differences we all bring to work help us to create a high performing environment. The way we individually think and the unique experiences we've had, help us to look at things from various perspectives and be innovative.
Together, we're better
We look at diversity from the view that we're all diverse. Having a wide range of diverse people of different ages, gender, ethnicities, abilities and experiences, gives us a competitive edge in the market.
Being an inclusive culture means that we listen to and respect input from everyone who works here. We value and appreciate the uniqueness that makes us individuals. We want Meridian to be a great place to work for everyone!
Our diversity and inclusion goals
Meridian’s Belonging (diversity and inclusion) programme centres on seven key focus areas.
Te Ao Māori – to encourage increased cultural competence.
Accessibility – to welcome people with disabilities and neurodiversity.
Gender – to achieve gender balance with a focus on leadership and senior roles.
Rainbow – to encourage LGBTQIA+ diversity.
Ethnicity – to encourage ethnic diversity.
Inclusion – in our culture, people, systems, processes and procedures.
Wellbeing – to nurture our people and enable them to blossom
We're incredibly proud to say we have been certified by Rainbow Tick as a workplace where people are free to be their authentic selves, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.
We’re proud to be accredited with the Gender Tick. We're committed to achieving pay equity for male and female employees in similarly-sized roles, with similar skills, experience and accountabilities.
Accessibility Tick Programme
We’re honoured to be a member of the Accessibility Tick Programme. We're committed to ensuring Meridian is an accessible place for everyone to work.
Our goal is to achieve gender balance across the organisation, but particularly in leadership and senior roles. Around half (~49%) of employees across the Meridian Group are women. 57% of our Board directors and 40% of our Executive leadership team below CEO are women. But like many organisations, women are still under-represented at senior management levels below this.
To achieve more-balanced gender representation at all levels, Meridian has a target that for new employees hired each year, we’ll aim for 40% of these appointees being men, 40% women, and the remaining 20% being of any gender. We’re also closely monitoring the retention of women who are already in our leadership roles and will respond with appropriate initiatives if an adverse trend arises.
Diversity by gender by career level
We are continuing to develop programmes to try to improve our gender balance. Meridian uses gender-balanced recruitment panels, and has rolled out training that supports managers to build collaborative teams, created succession plans, and understands the benefits of diversity within teams. Our graduate and apprentice programmes are successfully attracting a balance of male and female candidates, reflecting an improvement in the number of women choosing technical careers, and thriving in our Meridian environment.
Some parts of our business are still predominantly male - in particular in our Engineering and Electrical functions where 74% of employees are male. However, our female GM of Generation within this predominantly-male business area, and other senior female leaders, are great role models for women aspiring to join and lead the technical side of the business. We believe that increasing gender diversity will help bring diversity of thought and better outcomes overall. The relatively remote locations of our generation assets combined with low staff turnover means we see growth in gender diversity within our technical roles as a long game, and we continue to make gradual progress each year.
Gender pay equity is having the same or similar pay for different work of equal, regardless of job holder gender.
We are committed to achieving pay equity for male and female employees in similarly-sized roles, with similar skills, experience and accountabilities. We monitor this very closely and continue to make good progress in minimising the gender pay gaps across similar-sized roles. In most of our employee levels, the gap between the median male salary and female salary is less than 4%. Taking into account the female representation and numbers of people in each pay-band, our weighted pay equity gap, is -0.1% (2022 1%).
Gender pay gap is the overall gap in average pay rate across the organisation for women compared to men. It is impacted by the unequal representation of gender at different levels of the organisation.
As part of the Mind the Gap initiative across New Zealand, we also committed to disclosing our overall gender pay gap. Due to a lower proportion of women in mid-senior higher-paying roles, the average and median salary for men across all roles in the organisation is higher than for women, resulting in a 2023 gender pay salary gap of 26% (Average) and 35% (Median). As we progress toward our goal to achieve a more-balanced gender representation at every level of the business, and in particular increase the proportion of women in senior higher-paying roles, this overall pay gap will reduce.
Meridian welcomes employees from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds. Our goal is to increase ethnic diversity across the workforce to be more representative of the New Zealand population and build cultural awareness. In particular, we would like to encourage more Māori and Pasifika peoples to join us.
We encourage our people to let us know which ethnicity they identify with, so that we can track our progress in ethnic diversity. About 85.7% of our people have done this, so far, and we’d love to capture that information from everyone. Of those employees who have disclosed their ethnicity, 5% are Māori and 2.4% are Pasifika.
We are concerned that the proportion of our employees who have notified us that they are Māori and Pasifika are not reflective of the representation of those ethnicities in the overall NZ population. Furthermore, the types and levels of roles that most of our Māori and Pasifika people within Meridian fill are our lower-paying roles. This has led to there being large ethnicity pay gaps for our Māori and Pasifika employees, compared to our other employees.
As part of the Mind the Gap initiative across New Zealand, we have reviewed the pay gap of our Māori and Pasifika employees against employees of other ethnicities which indicates:
- A 37% gap between the median salary of our Māori employees, and the median salary of all other employees who have notified us of their ethnicity.
- A 35% gap between the median salary of our Pasifika employees, and the median salary of all other employees who have notified us of their ethnicity.
We will continue to focus on obtaining ethnicity information from the remainder of our employees, so that we get a true picture of the ethnic representation across the group. We’re also committed to finding ways to attract more Māori and Pasifika into the company, and growing our organisation-wide capability to understand and be supportive of Māori and Pacifica needs in our workplace. We want to be in a stronger position to hire and/or develop employees of these ethnicities into our more senior, high-paying roles.
Te Kete Tikanga Māori
Te Kete Tikanga Māori is an educational resource for Meridian staff and whānau to learn about Te Ao Māori (the Māori world). It focuses on basic teachings to support their day to day mahi (work).
Interactive features within the app include pronunciation of Māori words, maps with Māori names and iwi groups, values and principles, mihimihi/pepeha (introductions), ngā mihi (greetings), poroporoaki (farewells), whakataukī (proverbs) and waiata (songs).
One of the app’s key features is that it allows staff to input their own personal information to create a customised pepeha. Meridian staff will find this resource particularly helpful when leading, or being part of health and safety discussions that involve the local Māori community.
- All word in te reo Māori are Touch-to-Hear™
- All word in te reo Māori are Touch-to-Spell™
- Read-to-me and read-it-myself options