Diversity, equity and inclusion at Orion

Creating an inclusive workplace where all people belong and thrive, is not just the right thing to do, it’s an advantage for Orion. The unique lived experiences our kaimahi bring every day to work, ensure we are able to power a cleaner and brighter future with our community. 

By recognising and celebrating our differences we can be successful in attracting and retaining the best people out there. With increasing talent shortages forecast in our industry, we are taking action to set ourselves up for success as a preferred workplace.


Ubuntu is a beautiful West African concept meaning ‘humanity towards others’ or ‘I am because we are’. It speaks to the idea that you can’t exist as a human in isolation; you are connected and what you do affects others. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.

Ubuntu, our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy, speaks to the priority we place on ensuring our workplace is a space where all individuals are welcomed and supported.

The Orion Group CE Nigel Barbour states; "We live in increasingly complex times and having a diverse and inclusive team is important to helping the Orion waka successfully navigate the future. Our people are our greatest asset and we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn't unlock the potential that an inclusive and diverse workplace offers. The Board, ILT and I are committed to building and promoting an inclusive and diverse work environment."

DEI Council

Orion’s Inclusion Council has been up and running for a number of years and consists of a small group of passionate and dedicated people who want to share the voices of minority groups, celebrate cultural events and drive positive improvements in how our organisation supports our people.

CCHL He Huanui Māori Pathways programme

CCHL’s He Huanui Māori Pathways programme is designed to help embed Te Ao Māori, Tikanga Māori, Mātauranga Māori and the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi within the CCHL Group.

We encourage our staff from Orion and Connetics to take part in the activities available through this wonderful programme. We have had many staff attend marae visits, take up the opportunity to begin learning te reo and attend sessions on the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

CCHL Gender Balance Programme

As a member of CCHL we are partnering with the talented people at The Female Career in a programme to leverage our collective skills to even the gender playing field and enable women and those identifying as such to thrive.  

  • Women in Leadership development programmes

Women bring a range of diverse talents to leadership. We know that this diversity makes our organisation stronger. As part of our wider leadership development programmes we offer women in leadership cohorts, that ensure women are supported to develop their skillsets in a way that works for them. These programmes are key to ensuring we are able to move toward our targets of at least 40% female representation at all levels. 

Gender Tick affliation

In 2023 Orion was proud to achieve Gender Tick accreditation. Orion GM Purpose and Performance Alice van den Hout says the accreditation is a step in the right direction for the organisation.

“We want to be a role model for gender balance in our industry. Getting our GenderTick shows we’re committed to better equality and being transparent about that commitment, as well as where there’s room for us to improve.”

“We’re working to make the energy industry more attractive to women. This is through everything from improving how we appeal to female candidates, to promoting our flexible working offerings and developing education to work pathways.”

Alice says getting the GenderTick is a great achievement but there’s more work to do.

“We’re thrilled to have the GenderTick, but we know we’re on a journey towards reducing the gender imbalance and we’re certainly not patting ourselves on the back just yet. In an ever-changing world, we’re conscious we need to be better than we are today, and that means this mahi is ongoing for Orion.”

It’ll come as little surprise, our industry is generally male-dominated, but we are stepping up what we do to improve the gender balance not just at Orion, but the wider industry.

Our first step toward reaching an equitable workplace for all genders is to understand any current gaps in how we are paying our people at Orion.

To calculate and understand this we’ve carried out analysis on:

Overall gender pay gap

The overall gender pay gap is the difference between the average pay for men and the average pay for women across Orion regardless of role. The difference between our average (median) pay for all men vs our average (median) pay for all women is 11%*.  This includes overtime.

Our target is to reduce this number by 1% a year to below 10% by 2030.

Our action plan

Our overall gender pay gap largely comes about because we have more men in higher paying roles and women in lower paying roles and we want this to change.

  • To reduce the overall gender pay gap to less than 10% by 2030, we will be working on the following:
  • A recruitment process free from discrimination and bias.
  • Identifying improvements to our remuneration approach.
  • Re-calculating and examining our gender pay gap 6 monthly.
  • Working with our industry to attract more women into STEM roles.
  • Actively supporting the development and promotion of women at Orion.
  • We are also working on the following and will publish on completion:
    • Gender pay equity gap.
    • Ethnicity pay gaps (where groups are large enough to report on).

We have already introduced the following initiatives to assist in closing the gap:

  • Partnered to deliver a Women in Leadership Development Programme across CCHL and the Orion Group.
  • Launched an enhanced parental leave offering for both primary and secondary carers.
  • Fully adopted a flexible working policy.
  • Offer unconscious bias and inclusivity training for our people.
  • Released a refreshed Diversity and Inclusion policy.
  • Achieved Gender Tick accreditation



We’ll be reporting on developments on gender equity to our people, our board, in our Annual Report and on the NZ national pay gap registry – mindthegap.nz(external link)

*The Statistics New Zealand formula (external link)for calculating overall pay gap has been used to calculate this.

Parental leave policy

Work Life balance is important to us. We know that those first moments for a new family are extra special. We are proud to support our new parents with generous parental leave.

We offer competitive parental leave offerings that go well beyond the legislated minimum. This is published publicly at gocrayon.com(external link) to illustrate our transparency and visibility.