SkyCity’s recent Rainbow Excellence win highlighted an industry-leading framework for inclusion of trans employees.

The new framework was designed and implemented by SkyCity’s Employee Support Advisor Venasio Leilua and Team Leader for Employee Support, Christine Hacksaw. It aims to create a supportive environment for trans people, particularly for those who are transitioning.

The national entertainment group says the framework was developed in response to a manager enquiring with the HR department as to what they could do to better support an employee who was in the process of transitioning.


The framework is not widely publicised but is in place to ensure SkyCity is “as supportive as possible” of its Trans and transitioning employees, providing them with an inclusive culture and policies which help with the transition period, says SkyCity’s Chief People & Culture Officer.

Since the framework’s implementation, two trans employees have transitioned and been supported by SkyCity throughout the process.

In addition to ensuring transgender employees are supported during the transition period, it also ensures they are engaged in their respective roles; have the opportunity to participate in departmental activities and “freely use the bathrooms that affirm their gender identity,” without discrimination.

Walker tells express, the framework is ‘agile’ and support is always tailored for each individual employee. She says SkyCity are proud to have been awarded for it.

“Our team work closely with any member of our workforce who are experiencing challenging moments in their personal life, or at work, including members of our Transgender community.”

“With a workforce of over 3000 people, this framework was designed to support our transgender community as well as business leaders to ensure we are both doing the right thing by our people and affirming their gender identity appropriately,” Walker says.

The Transition Support framework enables SkyCity’s transgender employees to, “be their authentic self at work.”

Rainbow Tick’s Michael Stevens offers his endorsement of the framework. SkyCity has been awarded the Rainbow Tick every year since 2014.

Stevens tells express that SkyCity is an example to other corporations in how to ensure transgender employees are treated with respect and assisted through their transition period.

“SkyCity has dealt with some challenges for transgender staff in the past but has engaged with those issues. They have shown genuine progress and leadership in how to be inclusive for non-binary and trans people working there,” Stevens says.

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