Oxfam’s What She Makes campaign demands big clothing brands pay the women who make our clothes a living wage. Photo: Fabeha Monir/Oxfam

Laily* with her son Safyun
Laily* with her son Safyun

Understanding barriers to gender equality across the supply chain

Consumer Goods company Reckitt is committed to fostering a balanced and inclusive workplace, and wanted to strengthen its understanding of any gender-based issues throughout its supply chain. Often, the data companies collect does not fully consider gender, which limits its use in understanding risks and adverse impacts that may be gender-sensitive.

Solution: Making the most of data sources

To help Reckitt strengthen its gender data collection, we carried out an analysis of Reckitt’s social audit and related risk management processes, and made recommendations to collect additional gender-sensitive data through these existing systems. We also developed clear guidance on how to review and analyse gender data shared by their suppliers, making use of the data it has to identify potential gender-related issues for workers. We also supported Reckitt to explore ways to implement activities that can contribute to creating a safer working environment for people within its supply chains.

Impact: Increasing awareness of the barriers

Reckitt is implementing the recommendations throughout their internal reporting processes and systems, and are looking at ways to build capacity internally to increase awareness of the underlying causes of gender inequality, as well as the opportunities and barriers to women’s empowerment across their supply chains. As Max Levy, Head of Sustainable Supply Chain affirms, “equality is a human right, and every business should be committed to addressing inequality in their supply chains”.

As we advance our fight to make access to high quality health, hygiene and nutrition a right, not a privilege, it’s important that we take every opportunity to collect and analyse all data from our suppliers which can help us shape a clear picture of our supply chain, and identify any issues, including gender-based issues, which may impact the people who work with us.”

Max Levy, Head of Responsible Supply Chain, Reckitt.