Plucking leaf, Kenya

Gender

Abusive behaviour in the form of discrimination and harassment are two areas covered by the [Download not found]  that aren’t readily dealt with by auditing processes. In some areas, barriers may exist that prevent women from securing full time employment or advancing their careers. Other issues include unfair job and housing allocation, reduced hours during the low season and sexual harassment.

About the training

In order to tackle these issues ETP has been rolling out the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) ‘Supervisor Management Training Programme’ initially at Kenyan Tea Development Agency (KTDA) factories. The training promotes the equal treatment of workers and respect in the work place, and is suitable for managers and supervisors.

The emphasis of this programme is geared towards supervisors because they have daily contact with workers and are largely responsible for how they’re treated. However, supervisors often have very little formal management training and therefore struggle with sensitive issues such as discrimination and harassment.

What’s included?

Using role-play and other interactive sessions the training aims to improve supervisors’ overall people management skills. It also gives them the skills and knowledge to identify and address issues of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment.

What’s been achieved?

At the start of the project ETP co-financed the training of 11 ETI-accredited trainers, which included ETP’s Africa staff. From the initial scope of 10 factories the project has trained all of KTDA head office management and more than 150 supervisors from 26 factories. In addition a gender committee has been set up at KTDA head office.

Benefits to business & staff:

  • Improved working conditions
  • Fairer working environments
  • Increased staff morale
  • More effective management
  • Increased productivity

The future

Having experienced the training first hand KTDA head office has taken the decision to train management across the entire group (65 factories), and for each factory to establish gender committees.

Recently Rainforest Alliance and Utz Certified have committed to the programme, and new partnership opportunities to expand the training to other countries in Africa and privately owned factories in Kenya are being explored.