In 2022, the gender consulting practice of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW Advisors) worked with a group of seven leading apparel, footwear, and multi-sector retailers to develop a methodology to collect insights from women factory workers to better understand their particular vulnerabilities and lived experiences in factories. The working group, called the Gender Equity Worker Engagement Group (GEWEG), was composed of seven brands, including Amazon, Nike, Primark, PUMA, and Ralph Lauren, among others, and was led by ICRW Advisors, in partnership with Labor Solutions and Ulula.
Worker voice efforts have been an industry staple over the past decade, largely as part of audit requirements, and they’ve proven to be valuable mechanisms to hear directly from workers about workplace wellbeing. Surveying workers through mobile apps and on-site surveys as part of “worker voice” efforts is not new, but incorporating a “gender lens” is.
ICRW created a worker voice (WV) gender questionnaire that can be easily integrated and deployed alongside existing worker surveys.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
The Gender Equity Worker Survey is comprised of 26 questions that measure progress on gender equity issues from the perspective of factory employees. The long version of the tool has 21 experience questions and five demographic questions. The survey is designed to be completed in 10-15 minutes. The short version of the tool has five experience questions, which were carefully selected to serve as a supplement to existing worker survey tools, like the Nike Engagement and Wellbeing survey (EWB), and add a gender lens.
The goal of the tool is to help factory managers gather rich insights, catalyze dialogue, and improve action planning to promote gender equity. Over time, it can enable supplier managers to see progress in their own factory year-on-year, and if suppliers share their data with brands and/or with ICRW, data can be analyzed in aggregate, and insights can also be used to understand gender equity trends across entire supply chain chains.
We recommend using the survey in its entirety or using the five-question short version. For factories or brands who are already regularly deploying another worker voice survey, like the EWB, the five-question short survey can be additive to the tool.
For richer insights, it can be deployed in combination with the ICRW Gender Equity Self-Diagnostic Tool (SDT) designed to help supplier managers understand the extent of gender integration across factory policies, practices, initiatives, and operations. Together the tools can be used to generate a snapshot of the factory’s performance related to gender equity, identify new gender opportunities with a high likelihood of impact, and help inform new priority areas for action.
If you use the survey, we would be interested to hear more about your experience as it scales its tools and endeavors to create industry-wide data sets and standards. Please email us at [email protected] with any feedback you have regarding your experience.
Access the tools below:
This survey contains both the long-form (21 questions) and short-form (five questions) versions of the WV Equity survey.
Module 1: Worker Voice Guidance Note
This module answers the question, what is a gendered worker voice?
This module is created for supplier management (managers and supervisors) looking to improve their business policies and practices to be more gender equitable.