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The month of March is known in B Corp circles as #BCORPMONTH, and its theme in 2024 is This Way Forward. We’ve explained previously why our B Corp status is important to us as an organisation, but we think it’s important to point out that achieving B Corp certification is actually only the beginning of our journey to better business – it’s not our end destination.

Life as a B Corp is a perpetual work in progress, and as B Corp month comes to an end, we thought it was a good time to share a little of what we’re doing to help make the world a better place for people, planet and communities.

  1. Diversity and Neurodiversity training

In 2018, the population of Aotearoa was comprised of more than 160 ethnicities that numbered more than 100 people (as well as many smaller ethnic groups). Within these, we have further diversity by way of age, cultural values, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation etc. At the same time, an estimated fifteen to twenty percent of our population is Neurodivergent.

The NSPR team has been fortunate to have received training on unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion with Vanisa Dhiru, who is a renowned advocate for community, gender and racial equality. We have also engaged DivergenThinking to provide a series of workshops that are designed to improve our understanding of how different brains function, both separately and as part of a team.

Both of these trainings support our team to be ‘lifelong learners’ who continuously upskill, and understand and appreciate how different thoughts and experiences create a richer environment.

  1. Travels with Te Tiriti

When it comes to understanding te ao Māori and our responsibilities as tāngata Tiriti, each member of the NSPR team is at a different point in their journey. However, what we have in common is a shared direction, purpose and intent.

One of our directors is forging ahead with her study of te reo Māori, having thrown herself into a year of full-immersion learning, while a few of us are still figuring out the basics of pronunciation and learning to say our pepeha without fainting from extreme stage fright. In classic NSPR style, we urge each other on with humor and kindness. We also learn from each other and lean on each other, celebrating both small triumphs and massive achievements with equal amounts of aroha. You can read more on this here.

As part of our commitment to the principles of Te Tiriti, the NSPR team has engaged a cultural advisor and taken part in a number of trainings with organisations such as Engaging Well.

  1. Creating an environment that normalises and supports people through menopause

In 2023, a study into the impacts of menopause on Kiwi women in the workplace revealed that around 75 percent of respondents had experienced a negative impact on their work from menopause symptoms. This included physical symptoms such as hot flushes, joint pain, muscle aches and headaches, as well as brain fog, anxiety and depression. These symptoms, coupled with a decrease in their quality of sleep, meant that most respondents believed they were operating at least 20 to 30 percent below their best ability. On average, menopause-related symptoms are experienced for four to five years, although they can last a lot longer for some people.

NSPR has always been about empowering and supporting wāhine, which is why in 2023 we introduced a formalised menopause policy. Its purpose is a continuation of our commitment to fostering a work environment that supports the health and wellbeing of all our contractors, regardless of their age or gender. The policy is designed to ensure that contractors experiencing menopause-related symptoms can continue to contribute effectively in their roles whilst maintaining their health and their dignity.

Our wider goal is to help normalise and raise awareness of menopause. We believe that in encouraging open conversation about menopause and its associated stigma, we are creating a culture of support and acceptance during what can be an extremely challenging time of life.

  1. Supporting new parents as they return to the workforce

There are endless logistics to consider when you’re a new parent returning to the workforce: nap schedules, feed times, is the bag packed? To support new parents in their transition back to work and to normalise breastfeeding, NSPR established a policy to support our contractors if they’re returning to work while still breastfeeding. While we understand that breastfeeding is not possible or preferred for all parents, this is yet another way we can foster a work environment that supports the health and wellbeing of our team.

By law, workplaces are required to provide appropriate facilities for those who want to breastfeed or express milk during the work day. However, with our home-based business model, our policy focuses on offering flexible working arrangements to schedule medical appointments, facilitate feeding schedules and/or times to pump. It also made it clear that a parent is welcome to feed their child during a team meeting, as opposed to during a scheduled break, if that is their preference. We all know children love to throw a schedule out the window!

This policy was particularly pertinent when one director came back from maternity leave. With the support of the team, she regularly participates on calls from what she affectionately calls ‘the milking shed’.

  1. Stepping up in our local communities

There are around 28,000 registered charities operating in New Zealand, many of which manage to achieve miracles on a shoestring budget while relying heavily on volunteers and donations to survive. We believe that volunteering fosters great community spirit and benefits both those who volunteer and those who are recipients.

This is why, in 2021, NSPR implemented a volunteer policy to support our contractors in helping Kiwi organisations that align with our core values of whanaungatanga (connection), hauora (health) and whānau (family). The policy offers contractors one paid day each year that is specifically for volunteering within the community.

Many of our whānau were already volunteering with different organisations in their own time, but our policy has inspired them to seek out further opportunities to help, taking on a wide variety of volunteer activities in their local areas. Among other things, they have provided free pet therapy sessions in retirement villages, baked up a storm to help feed people going through tough times, jangled buckets for street collections, helped with the operations of community events and cleared the parks and streets of inner-city Tāmaki Makaraui of litter.

When NSPR became a B Corp certified company, we accepted an invitation to join a global community on a journey to better business. We are continuously striving for better, believing that every small action we take can create a larger ripple of change.

Part of this kaupapa involves helping other organisations in their own B Corp journeys. Whether you’re already on your way or you’re just feeling a little, shall we say, B Corp-curious, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can. You can also find out more about the B Corp way of life here.