A group pushing for a more diverse Clutha district has secured funding for an information day for employers in the area.
The Clutha District Youth Council recently secured $8000 from the Clutha District Council for its ‘‘Diversity Clutha’’ project, which will include an information day aimed at employers in the area.
Employers will be invited to ‘‘proactively connect with all included in the community project’’ by receiving information and hearing guest speakers share their experiences and connect with employers.
Clutha District Youth Council facilitator Jean Proctor said the youth council aimed to encourage local businesses to adopt an ‘‘awareness statement’’ pledge within their project, where businesses would state they would be fair to all in employment opportunities.
The statement runs as follows:
‘‘We at (business name), an employer within the Clutha district, pledge to provide an inclusive, safe environment of equal opportunities for all. We also pledge that this will be delivered with dignity, respect and empathy with a high focus of fair treatment of everyone.’’ Mrs Proctor was in the process of setting up the day, which will be held at the South Otago Town and Country Club on Yarmouth St, Balclutha on August 24.
‘‘It’s going exceptionally well so far,’’ Mrs Proctor said.
‘‘This is a golden opportunity for the Clutha district. It’s a great way to set an example for other districts, and break down barriers that I know we have in businesses within our area.’’
She said speakers including ‘‘That Blind Woman’’ Julie Woods and youth councillor Nancy Anthill would be attending.
‘‘I know it will be a big step for employers in the district.’’
When asked what would happen if employers did not wish to sign and adopt the pledge, Mrs Proctor said it meant they had not done their job, or employers might not be ready for it.
Balclutha resident Catherine Anne Vos said as a transgender woman, she had experienced ‘‘silent discrimination’’ in the Clutha district and said she would support the project.
‘‘I’ve come to realise many people in the Clutha district have the ‘rural town’ mentality, so instead of progressing forward with society they find it difficult to understand people who are different to their preferred normal,’’ Ms Vos said.
‘‘With my own experience being turned away from jobs because I am me, I will gladly support this project if it helps push the district to become more inclusive.’’
Mrs Proctor said everyone was welcome to attend, and should register on 027 318-5555.