How diginex is embracing equity on International Women’s Day 2023

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Diginex recognised that at the heart of a robust gender-responsive due diligence process, there must be meaningful engagement with women workers - Read more!
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June 15, 2023

diginex recently announced the launch of its new Gender Module on diginexLUMEN, a SaaS platform that supports companies in conducting supply chain due diligence. The Gender Module offers something new, with suppliers asked to complete a self-diagnostic “Gender Scan” of their management systems, while simultaneously rolling out a survey to their workforce to understand the unique and differing experiences and opinions of women and men on issues commonly associated with gender equity, such as pay, training opportunities and family friendly benefits.

diginex has been dedicated to advancing technology to help support companies in tackling human rights abuses in the supply chain since its inception, with an initial focus on forced labor and responsible recruitment. Last year, diginex expanded this focus into gender, recognising that a gender-responsive, worker-led approach to supply chain due diligence is crucial, especially for sectors that rely heavily on women. The process utilised in diginex’s Gender Module is a step away from the more traditional ‘top down’ compliance approach often found in supply chain risk management programs (such as social auditing) with the self-assessment instead focusing on 6 key themes, covering: Economic Empowerment; Health & Wellbeing; Voice & Leadership; Safety; Enabling Environments; and Design, Measurement & Reporting. Completing the self-diagnostic assessments helps companies understand the progress they are making in closing the gender gap, while easily identifying areas of opportunity for further action. The focus is on truly moving the needle on SDG 5, for companies that wish to tackle inequality and close the gender gap by 2030.

The solution has so far been piloted in agri-supply chains in India and Indonesia, with plans to expand into the apparel sector in the same regions in 2023. Both India and Indonesia scored poorly[1] on the 2022 Global Gender Gap Report, in part affected by cultural attitudes where women hold less power than men at work, in the home and across society. Women typically take on the lions share of work in the home and are largely responsible for shouldering the unpaid care burden as the primary carers for children, the sick and older relatives. Lack of access to maternity protection and childcare further push women into lower-level jobs, with few opportunities for progression into better positions. The Indian textile and garment industry, for example, employs 45 million people, out of which more than 60 percent are women, making it the biggest formal employer of women in the country. While this is a great opportunity for economic empowerment, in a country where 80 percent of women are not engaged in paid work, supervisor and management positions are still dominated by men, exemplifying the imbalanced power dynamic.[2] Women also experience a range of gender-related issues that affect their employment and working conditions differently to men, including precarious work, low union representation and failing safety measures, making them particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence and harassment. For this to change, responsible businesses recognise they must be proactive in their approach to advancing gender equity and empowering women in their workplaces.

We are excited to see our work in gender expand into new sectors. Our Gender Module was created to help companies be pro-active in closing the gender gap and we are excited to see it be taken up for use in the apparel sector, an  industry that is instrumental in supporting SDG 5, with millions of women engaged in garment and textiles manufacturing. All companies need to look inward and consider how their management practices and policies can positively impact women – and we truly believe that diginexLUMEN gives the supply chain the tools they need to do this.

Mark Blick, Diginex CEO

Recognising that at the heart of a robust gender-responsive due diligence process there must be meaningful engagement with women workers, the gender module includes the integration of the worker voice tool diginexAPPRISE, with multi-lingual, audio-based surveys tailored to capture the voices of both women and men on issues across the 6 themes explored in the module –  with a range of pragmatic questions around pay and benefits, training and support for working parents, along with more sensitive questions on experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace.

[1] India was ranked 135 and Indonesia 92 out of 146 countries assessed


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