ICRW Advisors, the consulting arm of the The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), and Labor Solutions, a leading worker engagement and technology company, have partnered to ensure worker engagement and voice tools and programs being deployed throughout global supply chains measure and address gender equity, and other gender-related issues and knowledge gaps.
The partnership is part of ICRW Advisors’ Gender Equity Worker Engagement Group (GEWEG), which includes and is funded by; Primark, Amazon, Nike, PUMA, Ralph Lauren and others. By adding two new tools for public use —a set of worker survey questions and a Gender 101 digital training for factory management teams—the goal is to increase awareness of gender, inclusion issues, and to build capacity for creating meaningful change for women in the workplace.
The tools will soon accompany ICRW’s gender self-diagnostic tool (SDT), a self-assessment questionnaire to be filled out by factory managers, which creates a 360-degree diagnostic of the gender policies and practices in a factory or facility. By adding the gender digital training and worker survey to the SDT, suppliers will better understand their workers' needs and will be better equipped to understand their progress on gender integration throughout their operations and supply chains.
The Gender 101 digital training, now accompanying the SDT, was created by ICRW Advisors and designed by Labor Solutions for supplier management teams in manufacturing who are looking for ways to make their business policies and practices more gender equitable. The course helps managers and supervisors understand the foundations of gender equity, and ultimately will enable them to better assess themselves on gender integration throughout their operations. This course is recommended for any supplier who is going to use the SDT or gender equity worker survey, and will reference how using these tools can help to uncover areas for improvement on alignment on gender equity actions.
Another output of the Gender Equity Worker Engagement Group is a set of open-sourced worker survey questions (available soon), designed for factory workers to assess their lived realities, including both risks and opportunities, in the workplace for women. These questions can either be added to existing surveys or deployed as a stand-alone question set. This set of questions was a key outcome for Labor Solutions, who deploys thousands of worker surveys annually across global supply chains. “It is increasingly clear that industry collaboration is key to avoid duplication and worker disengagement. Most of the open-sourced worker surveys today are missing a robust gender component. We wanted to work with an industry leader to design a flexible but authoritative gender question set with meaningful, actionable questions to ensure inclusivity. ICRW’s GEWEG was the obvious choice,” remarked Elena Fanjul-Debnam, CEO of Labor Solutions.
With these new tools, the hope is to elevate the industry and provide managers and supervisors with access to novel insights from workers directly about gender risks and opportunities in the workplace, as well as to ensure a baseline understanding of issues before self-assessment, improving the quality of the assessment and recommendations and providing a path to improvement.
“The more awareness suppliers have about gender equity in the workplace, the better equipped they’ll be to assess and act to improve gender-related risks and opportunities. We are helping suppliers and brands visualize what “good” looks like for gender equity at the supplier site, and we plan to measure year-on-year progress through our respective tools,” commented Lauren Murphy, Global Director of ICRW Advisors.
ICRW Advisors is a global gender consultancy that guides clients with evidence-based, actionable insights and solutions to enhance intersectional social impact and drive business value. ICRW Advisors offers a range of services, including customized gender diagnostics, strategy design, capacity building, measurement, and evaluation to help clients become more gender equitable across their full range of operations. Clients include companies, investors, development agencies, foundations, and leading NGOs.
Labor Solutions, an impact-focused business, leverages technology build resilient supply chains by connecting, engaging and educating workers. Over a million and a half workers in 28 countries have access to Labor Solutions’ worker engagement platform, WOVO. Labor Solutions advisory services focuses on building healthy social eco-systems that engage workers, suppliers and buyers.