Plucking leaf, Kenya

Gender

Abusive behaviour in the form of discrimination and harassment are two areas covered by the  ETP Global Standard  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. The scope of the programme was initially to train 10 KTDA factories, but due to the programme’s success, the training has now been carried out across all KTDA factories (65), as well as with head office management. Following the training, gender committees have been set up at head office and all KTDA factories, and it’s also compulsory for each factory board to have female representation. 

Benefits to business & staff:

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

The Future

The programme is now being scaled up to private factories in Kenya and expanded to Uganda.