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GEC

Here you will be able to find the latest updates from the Gender Equity Committee of The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory.  

August 2021  
June 2021

Current statistics Women in Management:

Our statistics confirm that women are well represented in operations management. However, women are still underrepresented in senior management due to available positions. HR affirms the ideal that all employees are chosen on skills and qualifications, not gender. However, we need to continue to ensure that managers and leaders consider and interview women for every position. Action response will be to encourage managers to continue to identify ways for women to speak into decision-making in their teams and throughout the wider TSA as people of influence

 

Respect Policy and the complaint process:

Confirmed that information is on every notice board on THQ and accessible on the intranet. Respect policy champions are still in place. Discussion on how to communicate the information more effectively in corps and centres it was recommended that managers include a question or reminder in staff meetings.

  • Personnel and HR to check if a template for teams meetings is in use and that a question is included in reviews.
  • Regular communication regarding respect will be more effective and improve our culture.   
  • Training and Staff Development: Centre for Learning and Development report that the majority of staff and officers attending courses are female. It is also hoped that Learning and Development plans for staff and officers will assist in identifying future courses.
  • MASIC, Personnel and CLD to identify ways to implement  Unconscious Bias training.
April 2021

Purpose Statement for Gender Equity: 

This has now been finalised following the proposed statement being circulated by members to people in their teams for feedback on the statement. 

 

'Together we will work towards eliminating any barriers of sexism and gender bias across The Salvation Army so that everyone is included, valued and empowered to reach their full potential - as God intended.'

 

The responses were positive regarding the statement, however, some commented that teaching and education on gender will be important, the difference between women's rights and gender equity and biculturalism: addressing gender equity will assist with addressing issues experienced by many cultures.

 

Inclusion and Diversity will also be discussed and considered by the Personnel Section.

    February 2021

    Response to the Gender Equity Survey:

    Discussion was held and focused around the following topics relating to "attitudes towards women":

    • What does "belonging" look like in TSA?
    • Unconscious bias and inclusion; relationship issues
    • Salary inequality, job sizing, performance appraisals and impact of the role
    • Life choices (e.g. maternity leave) and impact on job opportunities

    Gender Equity Action Plan:

    This is being developed based on the following priorities arising from the survey and The Australia Territory Action Plan.

    • Gender equity questions in appraisals, upskilling into leadership, training in unconscious bias awareness, inclusion and diversity and understanding on ways to end harm against women.
    • review the appointment system for officers with the view of single women being better supported and provided for, and married women officers being addressed and assessed in their own right as leaders with a development path and plan.
    • all women are seen as individuals, respected and protected from harassment and harm, and provided with equitable opportunities for development to fully flourish in and with The Salvation Army.
    • many male respondents asked for tools and resources to help support and encourage women, identify leaders fit for the future and have men and women working in unison across our territory.
    • the hope that all staff, soldiers, adherents, members and officers’ voices would carry equal weight in The Salvation Army. Our belief that we are all created in the image of God and desire to serve God’s kingdom should mean we all have the opportunity to work, serve and belong without preference or discrimination as part of the Body of Christ.

    In March 2021, the Gender Equity Committee undertook an online survey from the people of our territory. This survey was sent to all those who had Salvation Army email addresses, with an invitation for the survey to be communicated to relevant parties interacting with The Salvation Army. A summary report was compiled from the findings, which can be read below.

    Commissioner Julie Campbell, Chair of the Gender Equity Committee and one of our Territorial Leaders writes in response below:

    On behalf of our Gender Equity Committee, I want to thank each person (274 people) who shared their thoughts, experiences and hopes with us by completing our Attitudes to Women survey.  

    I am so grateful to read that many of us see The Salvation Army as a great place to belong, worship, work or serve. Many of you have reflected that The Salvation Army has provided opportunities you may not have had in other churches and organisations.

    We are pleased that your honest comments have assisted us in identifying some of the positive attitudes and experiences within The Salvation Army in New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa that reflect the value we place on both women and men. 

    However, your feedback has also identified attitudes and systems that hinder and prevent women staff and officers from flourishing. We are deeply sorry and apologise for any hurt and disappointment caused in the past and we assure you that we will use the information that you have shared with us to continue to improve our systems and behaviours.

    • These are a few of the points we have heard from you:
    • The request for gender equity questions in appraisals, upskilling into leadership, training in unconscious bias awareness, inclusion and diversity and understanding on ways to end harm against women.
    • A review of the appointment system for officers with the view of single women being better supported and provided for and married women officers being addressed and assessed in their own right as leaders with a development path and plan. International Headquarters have a task force focusing on this internationally and Personnel is also working to improve our appointment process.
    • A culture shift where all women are seen as individuals, respected and protected from harassment and harm. You reflected the desire for a workplace where women are provided with equitable opportunities for development to fully flourish in and with The Salvation Army.
    • Many male respondents asked for tools and resources to help support and encourage women, identify leaders fit for the future and have men and women working in unison across our territory.
    • Above all, you expressed the hope that all staff, soldier, adherent, member and officer voices would carry equal weight in The Salvation Army. Our belief that we are all created in the image of God and desire to serve God’s kingdom should mean we all have the opportunity to work, serve and belong without preference or discrimination as part of the Body of Christ.

    Link to the summary of The Salvation Army Attitudes towards Women Survey

    More in-depth qualitative data will be gathered in future surveys. The GEC will soon be establishing a presence on The Salvation Army’s territorial website so people can see current members of the GEC, be updated on findings and take part in positive cultural impact and change. Thank you for your honest feedback and for being part of changing our future.

    God bless you,

    Commissioner Julie Campbell
    Territorial Leader of The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa


    To contact the Gender Equity Committee with questions, comments or recommendations, please email us at GenderEquityCommittee@salvationarmy.org.nz