Why is gender-disaggregated supply chain data important?
For businesses, data is essential to assess risks and adverse impacts on workers impacted by their operations, justify action and drive approaches that positively improve the lives of all workers. However, more often than not, supply chain data fails to consider gender, treating all workers as equal. This limits possibilities to understand certain risks and inequities that may be gender sensitive and present and hinders our ability to assess whether programmes and initiatives are having equal outcomes for all.
Gender-disaggregated supply chain data can help identify a wide range of gendered challenges and risks in the workplace. For example:
It can reveal situations where women might be found in more vulnerable contract types, such as fixed term, temporary or seasonal, and in general more informal working conditions, compared to men;
Why women are not in leadership positions e.g. because they may not have the same access to trainings or networking opportunities, or they may be time constrained due to unpaid care responsibilities;
It can help identify health and safety procedures or infrastructure not fit for women given biological differences or types of activities done in the workplace;
It can help uncover root causes of complex workplace issues such as gender-based violence and harassment, which predominantly affects women workers.
Despite these benefits, many brands and retailers struggle with what gender-disaggregated data to collect or how to interpret it, and suppliers are unclear about the benefits to them of gathering such data. There is also a heavy reliance on data from audit systems, which can fall short in identifying the risks faced by women workers.
What is the ETI Gender Data Initiative?
ETI’s Gender Data Initiative aims to support corporate members to embark on a journey of collecting more and better gender-disaggregated supply chain data, as an integral part of supply chain risk assessments and monitoring.
Our latest joint guidance, which is based on the BSR Gender Data and Impact Tool, proposes that companies start with collecting Level One Indicators and progress to Level Two and Three.
Gender Data Indicators: Guidance Level 1
Gender Data Indicators: Guidance Level 2 & 3
Level Three Indicators are aimed at collecting data when looking to create systemic change that goes beyond the workplace to also factor in broader societal norms that influence behaviours in the workplace. These indicators are more relevant for evaluating specific programmes or when working on a collaborative initiative with other businesses, NGOs and trade unions. They are supplementary to Level Two indicators and can be collected alongside them.
Join gender data conversations at ETI
ETI members can engage on this topic via our new ETI Community site. Login to join our room on the ETI Gender Data initiative, where you can pose questions to ETI members and staff, get updates on the latest resources, events and commentary.