Hela Clothing strengthens female participation in the workplace with SheWorks commitments | Daily News

Hela Clothing strengthens female participation in the workplace with SheWorks commitments

Hela Clothing, a global apparel manufacturer with factories across Kenya, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka, has renewed its commitment to create equal opportunity in the workplace.

As part of the IFC’s SheWorks initiative Hela will be extending its commitment in six specific areas to ensure that the company is able to maximize the potential of its workforce while encouraging greater participation. These areas have been identified by the World Bank as being major impediments to women’s participation in Sri Lanka’s paid workforce.

Hela’s commitments include increasing women in leadership; recruiting and retaining female talent; exploring employer-supported childcare; promoting an effective anti-sexual harassment mechanism; support women in the value chain as employees and entrepreneurs; and fostering the company’s leadership and commitment to women’s employment as a smart business strategy.

Hela is one of 15 forward-thinking companies that embarked on this journey in 2018. Facilitated by the IFC the partnership has seen a symbiosis of shared knowledge and learning between partners that goes beyond structured meetings and events. This dynamic collaboration has allowed Hela to set up a framework of policies and targeted activities that, taking current HR realities into consideration, create a level playing field for each person in their workforce.

Speaking about the initiative and Hela’s progress, Manique Jayasooriya David, Group General Manager – Human Resources & Administration, said, “We understand that women, in particular, face many hurdles in their career path that may push them out of the workforce. Hence we believe it is our responsibility as an inclusive employer and responsible corporate citizen to intervene on their behalf and implement gender-smart solutions that gives everyone the same opportunities at the workplace. We believe these are good for the business, employees and our community.”

“It is a journey that has brought real change to the lives of many and is by no means over. Of course, none of it would have been possible without the knowledge and experience that easily flowed from the IFC and the other SheWorks partners.”

Hela’s progress on its six commitments along with business outcomes can be read in the IFC report Sri Lankan Businesses Advance Gender Equality. The SheWorks Sri Lanka partnership has created a more equal and respectful workplace for over 170,000 employees (61 percent women; 39 percent men).