A novel way to help women in the workplace

Yesterday, I attended the Global Social Responsibility Conference organized by the Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. One story of corporate social responsibility that I found particularly compelling was that of Aboni Knitwear, the 2012 winner for Most Innovative Idea at the Social and Environmental Excellence Awards held in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The factory has a workforce that’s 60% female so the management created a daycare center and produces and distributes sanitary napkins to employees below cost at less than 50% of their market value to reduce employee absenteeism so that female employees do not have to needlessly forgo career and income. I think this is a wonderful idea and I would love to see more employers in the developing world replicating it.

It’s a great example of an intervention that seems relatively small but is immensely impactful. For men who may be confused by this, sanitary napkins equal mobility and reproductive health and are financially out of reach for the majority of the world’s female population.

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