Vanilla believe in working with factories that actively support women in the supply chain, offering the potential to be empowered for a positive change in and out of the workplace. One of our main factories in Bangladesh is involved with a collaborative initiative, HERproject™, which strives to empower low-income women working in global supply chains.
HERproject™ drives impact for women and business via workplace-based interventions on health, financial inclusion and gender equality. Since its launch in 2007, HERproject™ has increased the well-being, confidence and economic potential of more than 1,225,000 women.
What HERproject™ Do
Global supply chains are a major employer of women and they represent the majority of the garment and textile workforce.
Women who receive a low income often face substantial challenges such as a lower status within the workplace, fewer up-skilling opportunities, irregular/excessive hours, harassment, violence and discrimination. Run by BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), HERproject™ stands with women as they take control of their lives, ensuring they act on choices they respect and value.
Their ambition is for employment and empowerment to coincide for female workers. They believe that devoting time towards gender equality is good for both women and business. HERproject™ delivers different workplace education programs to drive this force for women...
This program raises awareness and provides low-income women with the ability to take charge of their health. The majority of female workers in poorer economic communities often struggle to access key information as well as critical health services and products.
Living a healthy life is a basic human right. Having the knowledge to know how to live more healthily will engage women in these communities to be more productive, save more and live longer. It will also help women to educate their children on health which will improve well-being across future generations.
HERfinance expands fiscal presence and helps to support low-income female workers in global supply chains so that women can gain a greater level of financial independence and take back control of their wage packets. Ensuring that women have the opportunity to access suitable knowledge, learn key skills and adopt sensible financial strategies has significant benefits:
- It allows individuals to save for emergencies
- Guidance on financial planning, budgeting and savings helps to improve resistance to economic shocks
- Knowledge and confidence-building enables women to take control of their finances
- It enables low-income adults to invest in economic opportunities
- It supports investments in health and education
The Digital Wages Solution and HERfinance Digital Wages Program
This program encourages employers to switch from paying workers cash to sending their pay directly into newly created digital accounts. This presents a number of fantastic benefits:
- Employers don't face the risk of theft or fraud in the transportation and distribution of cash wages
- No more standing in line to receive cash wages, which cuts into their personal time
- Women will have more control over their wages if paid into their own bank account
BSR is therefore partnering with supports to digitise wage payments by working directly with employers to facilitate their transition from cash to payroll, allowing workers to receive their payments instantly. BSR will also provide training for factory management and workers, based on the HERfinance methodology.
Impact of the Digital Wages Program
The HERrespect program promotes gender equality and builds skills to prevent and address gender-based violence in the workplace. Many female workers in global supply chains experience high levels of harassment and violence. This is experienced both in the workplace and in their personal relationships. This violence (economic, emotional, physical or sexual) deprives women of their basic human rights and compromises their well-being.
HERrespect tackles violence against women by providing awareness of the root causes in the workplace and supplying training to both men and women.
This digital toolkit was developed from a need to continue to support workers remotely during the pandemic as women have been excessively impacted by the economic and social consequences of COVID-19.
The HERessentials app was developed to increase usability for those with low tech literacy levels. The app provides crucial information to vulnerable female workers in global supply chains during times of need. It delves into subjects such as health, financial resilience and includes tools for building harmonious relationships and ways to handle stress. As well as helping women in a time of need, it's also designed to increase workers' digital and tech literacy in an increasingly technological world.
For more information on our other ethical measures, read our statement here...