Empowering Women in Global Supply Chains: goldbug and the HERproject

Empowering Women in Global Supply Chains: goldbug and the HERproject

By: Bentley Porterfield-Finn

Goldbug is excited to be participating in the BSR HERproject initiative with one of our partner factories. The mission of BSR’s HERproject is, “to unlock the full potential of women working in global supply chains through workplace-based interventions on health, financial inclusion, and gender equity.” We believe getting involved with the HERproject is a great way to build impactful change within our international supply chain.

There are 190 million women employed in global supply-chain related jobs and they make up 60-90% of labor-intensive jobs. Moreover, women face gender barriers, economic constraints, and limited access to financial and property assets. Through participation in the HERproject, women learn skills that will empower and enable them to improve their quality of life.

Ultimately, the HERproject offers an opportunity to drive impact in the supply chain by specifically focusing on the growth and well-being of women workers. HERproject collaborates with global brands, their suppliers, and local partners to implement interventions that strive to empower low-income women working in global supply chains. These interventions are specifically focused on health, financial inclusion, and gender equality.

The program works through a peer education model. First companies commit to implementing these programs. BSR develops a curriculum and connects companies with local partners, and factories allocate time for training workers on health, financial inclusion, and gender equality. So, BSR will train 3-5% of the factory’s workforce who are chosen as peer educators. The peer educators then train small groups of colleagues on HERproject content. Peer educators and other workers then share their knowledge and skills in informal workplace settings, homes, and in their communities. The hope is that the dissemination of information is organic.

Our participation includes financial sponsorship of the program for one of our key partners and ongoing communication with the HERproject implementation team about the progress, efficacy of the program, and receptiveness by the participants. At goldbug, we are specifically focusing our efforts on the HERhealth program with a factory that has been a long-standing partner. Many women working in global supply chains have limited access to critical health services, products, and information. The HERhealth dimensions of HERproject works to ensure women have the information and access to services needed to maintain health and prevent or treat disease.

As we have discussed in previous blog posts, we are passionate about supporting women’s health and the HERproject presents an opportunity for us to support the health of the women who contribute to the production of our products. The HERproject benefits women, factories, and employers. Research from other HERproject initiatives has shown the program results in increased productivity and attendance, as well as improved health outcomes. Our partnership with HERproject is still in the early stages, the process takes about 12 months, but we are excited to see it grow!