He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.
To be true to our purpose of inspiring and equipping the adventurer in all of us, it’s important that we recognise the wealth of diversity that exists in our communities, our customers and our teams.
We are committed to being a next-level inclusive employer and are passionate about creating workplaces that welcome, celebrate and leverage our differences. Doing so ensures that our unique cultures, experiences, beliefs and identities are woven into the fabric of Kathmandu.
Creating more opportunities for people with disabilities
Kathmandu's ACEs (Adventure Challenges Everyone) programme has been developed to make our workplaces more inclusive. As part of this programme, we are adapting both our workplaces and the positions we offer our employees.
Adapting our workplaces
We are creating more accessible workplaces so that existing positions can be more attainable to candidates with mobility challenges. We are also continuing to modify aspects of store design, including point of sale counters, specifically designed for team members utilising wheelchairs.
Adapting our positions
There are now accessible positions at Kathmandu that can be filled by candidates with differing intellectual abilities and challenges. Salesfloor assistant positions exist for those who love to talk to people and so would relish the chance to greet and assist customers in our stores. Positions within our support offices are adapting to promote greater inclusion, while we are continuing to explore new opportunities throughout all our workplaces.
IDEA Services New Zealand have become a strong partner of Kathmandu in helping to deliver a successful ACEs program.
“The Kathmandu programme is an inspiring move towards total inclusion,” says Ian Whittle of IDEA Services. "Having a paid job gives people a feeling of importance, value and worth. And obviously when you're generating your own income, that creates a real feeling of empowerment. It makes you feel like you're not so different."
Kathmandu Group Learning and Development Manager Kelly Hopkins says, “Our ACEs have different challenges, but they have even more in common with our teams – they share our values including a love of travel and adventure and passion for the environment, and they have all been hired because of what they can bring to Kathmandu.”
Taking on the the outdoors
Christchurch team member Tyler Belcher loves getting outdoors. “Any day of the week, I’d rather be out there doing it than sitting in front of the TV,” he says.\
Tyler was born with spina bifida, a condition that develops in the womb and affects the spine. “Until I was 3 years old, I used a walking frame to get around and then I got my first wheelchair. I can walk short distances with crutches.”
This doesn’t stop Tyler from getting into the outdoors. “I’ve always been an outdoor person. I’m really keen on nature walks and shorter hikes – or in my case, rolls. I love to head out on adventures in my 4WD and can load and unload my wheelchair from the car.”
Employment has been challenging for Tyler. “I’m a qualified personal trainer but I feel like my condition has been seen as a boundary when I’ve applied for roles in gyms. I used to live in Dunedin – it’s an older city where few of the buildings are wheelchair accessible. Christchurch is much more accessible, and that’s only improved since the earthquake with rebuilding.”
As a Kathmandu customer, Tyler says he always felt aligned to the brand. “Every time I’ve gone into a store, the team have been awesome. You could see people were happy to be there, and they were always welcoming.”