At JACK & JONES, it’s very clear to us that an equal world is one of the foundations of A BETTER WORLD. That is why we believe in working with our manufacturers to support the women in our supply chain both in and out of the workplace.
Women who have access to information on health and personal development can make better decisions for themselves and their families. Plus, with the knowledge and power to take charge of their own choices, they can become powerful agents of change for the wider community.
Through our parent company BESTSELLER, we have been part of the formerly-named HERproject™, a program that provides tailored workplace education courses for women and men — who are also
a crucial piece of the puzzle — since 2012. Through BSR’s HERproject™ our parent company BESTSELLER has supported more than 135,000 women across 92 factories in our supply chain over more than 10 years.
But many different women’s empowerment programs are available and manufacturers were challenged with completing the wide variety of trainings. By joining the largest programs in one, the strengths of each program is combined and will make it easier to work with. In March 2023 the four largest women’s empowerment programs - BSR’s HERproject, Gap Inc. P.A.C.E, CARE International, and Better Work- joined together to launch RISE (Reimagining Industry to Support Equality).
HOW DOES RISE WORK?
RISE provides three different workplace education programs:
• Basics: training for workers with the choice of 7 and more training modules. The aim is to build a training culture in the workplace and bring improved worker awareness.
• Foundations: capacity building for all workers in a 16-month program. This program’s purpose is a sustained change on core barriers to gender equality, increased women’s agency, improved gender attitudes and to build worker capacity on basic health, sexual and reproductive health and financial literacy
• Transform: capacity building for workers, management and workplace committees in a 12-month deep dive program within 3 focus areas (Financial health, respect and advancement & leadership). This program supports improved gender attitudes, improved worker knowledge and behaviors, improved workplace systems and access to products and services.
We specifically promote below focus areas to our manufacturers:
● Standard as part of the Foundations program - which raises awareness about healthy eating, maternal health as well as personal and menstrual hygiene.
● Digital as part of the Foundations program, a digital toolkit born from a need to continue supporting workers remotely. BESTSELLER had hands-on with developing this empowerment program formerly called HERessentials - now called RISES’s Foundations Digital program.
● Respect as part of the Transform program, which provides critical reflections on gender norms and builds skills to prevent and address gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace. This training promotes gender equality and cultivates more equitable relationships and attitudes among women and men in global supply chains. Both workers and management participate to develop understanding of gender and power and how it interplays in relationships. Additionally, the program offers in-depth support to strengthen policies and mechanisms to prevent gender-based violence and harassment.
● Financial health as part of the Transform program - which supports employers to digitize wage payments, so women have greater financial independence and control over their earning. They receive trainings to access, use and benefit form payroll accounts including modules like financial planning, budgeting, savings, talking finances with family.
We collaborate with BESTSELLER and our manufacturing partners to implement the best-suited program, making sure the content is tailored to where the workers need most support. It is less about one-size-fits-all solutions, and more about listening to the needs of those on the ground and shaping the program around them. Women who have completed their training can then go on to become peer educators, sharing their knowledge with co-workers, friends and family.
While it sounds like a pretty strong system, the solid proof comes from the individual stories of impact that make their way back to us. Like the story of Kakoly, a Sewing Machine Operator at our manufacturer A. K. M. Knit Wear Ltd. in Bangladesh, who was able to
help her co-worker get a uterus infection diagnosed after becoming a peer educator following her Health training. Or Selina, a Cutting Assistant in the same facility, who was able to recognize potential breast cancer symptoms in one of her neighbors.
HOW BENEFITS DOES RISE BRING?
• Reduction in sick leaves and long-term absences, because workers can react faster and better to symptoms of health issues.
• Workers like to stay in their workplace, because they know how to address the management and feel confident to stand up for their needs.
• Not only the workers benefit from the gained knowledge, but also their families and the communities they live in.
On International Women’s Day in 2021, BESTSELLER celebrated reaching its target of empowering 100,000 women working for the cut-and-sew manufacturers of its different brands — four years ahead of its 2025 target.
Going forward RISE will be a key partner in helping us achieve an important goal, by 2025 all women employed with our manufacturers have access to resources that help them make their own informed decisions about health and professional development. We are excited about what this partnership means for our ability to positively impact the women who make JACK & JONES clothes.