"We can't change the world on our own, but we can start the movement, and we are inviting other brands to come on this journey." Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Head of Sustainability at LINDEX.
LINDEX's We Women Project, which has been running for 3 years in factories in Bangladesh, India and Myanmar, has already reached 70,000 women, and counting. The company has made all the learning from the project available to other brands via open access, and is planning to extend it to all the countries in its supply chain.
The programme combines workshops and training for factory managers and gender equality, and the creation of inclusive workplaces, and aims to create the conditions needed to encourage women workers to take on leadership positions.
Anna-Karin Dahlberg comments: "The majority of factory managers are men, and the majority of factory workers are women. That is something we want to change. At LINDEX, we want all women across our whole value chain to be able to fulfil their potential."
The programme has created a shift in the mindsets of both men and women, and women workers are reporting that it has also led to improvements in their lives outside the factory too; as they become educated on gender equality and more empowered, they are reporting changed attitudes on the part of husbands and improvements in the way they are treated at home.
The project has raised the women's aspirations. "I'm a needle detector operator now, but my dream is to become a supervisor," remarks one woman worker in the video. Other women talk about how it has raised their aspirations not just for themselves, but for their children too, and encouraged them to treat sons and daughters more equally, and fairly.
"I'm a needle detector operator now, but my dream is to become a supervisor,"
The male factory managers are beginning to see the benefits too, with female managers often demonstrating more compassion than their male counterparts. "The work environment gets better if there is a female manager," remarks one male factory manager in the video.