Clutha District Youth Council (CDYC) wants to set minds at ease following concerns raised over its Diversity Delivers project.
CDYC received $8000 funding for Diversity Delivers to help deliver their key aim of ‘‘raising awareness with prospective employers of the value of employing people with disabilities and people from the LGBT+ community,’’ and the project includes an information day at Balclutha Town and Country Club next Thursday with the offer of a ‘‘diversity pledge’’ for employers.
The pledge reads: ‘‘We at [insert 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.’’
Some businesses in contact with Clutha Leader said they felt a pledge was unnecessary as they already operated in an inclusive manner within their prerogative to hire based on merit.
Some noted since employers did not have to disclose reasons for hiring, the pledge was ‘‘unenforceable’’ anyway, and felt the project might coerce them into making a choice based on worrying what others would think if they did not sign the pledge.
None of the business operators were prepared to be identified, but a Diversity Delivers thread on CDC’s Facebook page had a charged exchange of about 60 comments — not including those removed as inappropriate.
‘‘Absolutely friggin ridiculous, the ‘diversity and equality’ that is going on around the world , is destroying the world!!!’’ one comment read.
Personal ‘‘diversity statements’’ are becoming a prerequisite for employment in some sectors in the US and elsewhere overseas.
‘‘Diversity Delivers is just about raising awareness,’’ youth councillor Lilly Paterson said.
‘‘There’s no pressure on anyone to sign the pledge and no record of who does or doesn’t.’’
CDYC facilitator Jean Proctor confirmed nobody would be asked to publicly agree to or sign the pledge, and inquiries or concerns could be addressed to her via the contact details on the event’s advertising.
‘‘Diversity Delivers will include a Q&A session following our keynote speaker and other activities. All who attend will receive a certificate with the pledge on it as a takeaway, what attendees choose to do with this certificate is absolutely a respected, individual choice . . . Participation will not be recorded, as the ultimate aim is for people to attend and participate in a comfortable and inclusive environment,’’ she said.
She asked people interested in attending to RSVP by Friday.
‘‘We’ve never thought about keeping track of who signs the pledge or making it public,’’ youth councillor Nancy Antill said.