Gender Working Group for Sustainability Standards

Gender and Sustainability Standards

Women workers make up 80 percent of the workforce in global garment supply chains, yet they continue to face systemic discrimination, including gaps in legal protection, unequal opportunity to advance, and adverse social norms.

Studies have also shown that businesses that support women workers benefit through improved health and safety, ethical and legal compliance, strengthened staff motivation and improved productivity.

With support from the Laudes Foundation, ISEAL and BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) have partnered to bring together sustainability standards and other multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) to address gender issues through standard-setting, assurance as well as monitoring and evaluation.

By applying a gender lens to sustainability standards and MSI systems and practices, there is potential to drive systemic change for women in supply chains across a number of sectors. In particular, the working group aims to improve the working conditions of women in textile and apparel supply chains by promoting a range of strategies, tools and systems.

BSR and ISEAL have convened webinars and in-person meetings and have developed and promoted tailored and evidence-based strategies, tools and systems to help standards organisations and MSIs integrate gender considerations and tackle systemic gender inequalities. The primary audience for the activities has been ISEAL members, ISEAL Insight customers working in the textile and apparel sector, and other MSIs working in this sector.


ISEAL BSR Laudes Foundation