Photo: BSR

News & Stories


September 19, 2019

Download the Framework for Corporate Action on Workplace Women’s Health and Empowerment here

Women’s health is central to women’s empowerment, economic development, and opportunities for decent work. For the nearly 200 million women working in global supply chains to thrive and advance in the workplace, they need access to essential health care services from quality reproductive care to cancer screenings to protection from gender-based violence. But too often, the specific needs of these women workers have been under-prioritized or ignored.

Companies are taking not...

February 15, 2019

Denise grew up in a rural area outside of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti with five sisters and one brother.  Her mother had ten children total, but three of them died.  Denise left her parents in middle school to live with her aunt in Port-Au-Prince in order to attend school. She went on to graduate from high school, a significant achievement in Haiti where only 1 in 5 children move on from elementary school to secondary school, and 40 percent of Haitians are illiterate.

However, as she was preparing to continue her education and study accounting, she found out she...

February 15, 2019

Cynthia Petterson is the cofounder and CEO of Share Hope, a unique, two-pronged entity that is one part non-profit organization and one part for-profit subsidiary corporation that obtains contracts to produce apparel in factories in Haiti. However, what truly makes Cynthia a trailblazer in the corporate world is her passion for the health and wellbeing of the workers and the innovative health education program Share Hope provides.

In partnership with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), Share Hope has implemented the HERhealth program, a collection of one-hour...

February 15, 2019

Nadia lives in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti with her 21-year-old son and works at the apparel factory Pacific Sports Haiti. She became pregnant with her son when she was 20 years old and dropped out of school.  Because she didn’t know how to prevent pregnancy, she didn’t realize she was pregnant until she was four months into her pregnancy. She explains that when her mother saw she was getting bigger, they went to the hospital and did a test. She adds that she "started to cry …. I thought my life was going to end. I could not go to school anymore; my parents told me they...

February 14, 2019

Nadege is 32 years old and lives in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti with her three children and partner.  She used to work as a street vendor, but now works for the apparel factory Pacific Sports Haiti in the SONAPI Industrial Park in Port-Au-Prince, where she makes approximately $265 gourdes per day, or about $5 USD.  Nadege’s partner has not been able to find steady work, but he picks up odd jobs when he can, driving a truck or doing electrical work.  When asked if she and her partner make enough to support her children, Nadege replies, “It’s not stable.”

“My drea...

February 13, 2019

Khoeriyah lives with her parents in a modest row house in North Jakarta overlooking a stream. After graduating from Jakarta State University where she studied fashion design, Khoeriyah first drew patterns for a clothing designer before landing a job 8 years ago with garment manufacturer PT Tainan Enterprises.  

At PT Tainan, Khoeriyah works in the layout division where she prepares patterns for 16 fashion lines. As the sole breadwinner in her household, she emphasizes the importance of the income she earns at PT Tainan, saying, “My father is a re...

February 13, 2019

Arekalita lives in Tambun Selatan, a small town on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, with her husband R.I. Sultan and 19-year-old son Arief. Each morning, Arekalita and her husband make the hour-long trek on their shared motorbike to PT Tainan Enterprises, a garment manufacturer in northeast Jakarta, where Arekalita has worked for 18 years. In addition to her duties as a finishing operator in the packing division at PT Tainan, Arekalita also serves as a peer educator for the factory’s workplace women’s health program – the HERproject....

February 13, 2019

Nur Akmalia, or ‘Butet’ as most people call her, is a health educator for the Foundation for Mother and Child Health (FMCH), an Indonesian NGO based in Jakarta that provides programs focused on health, nutrition, education, and sustainable skills training. Through her work with FMCH, Butet helps implement the HERproject, a workplace health education program that includes reproductive health information to the workers at PT Tainan.

According to Butet, there needs to be a special focus on family planning. She explains that when women ente...

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Photo: BSR

Our Partners 


Non-governmental organizations and private-sector companies around the world are stepping up to improve the health and well-being of women in their workforce and supply chains. 



The organizations below have years of experience implementing workplace programs with great returns and they are ready to work with you. Click below to learn more.




Photo: BSR



Explore the different research and tools developed by organizations and companies showing the return on investment of workplace health and well-being programs. 

Return on Investment

This business case details cost packages, programs, and interventions that the apparel sector can implement to improve the health and well-being of their female supply chain workers in India. Last updated on July 9, 2020.

United Nations Foundation

This business case details cost packages, programs, and interventions that the agriculture sector can implement to improve the health and well-being of their female supply chain workers in Kenya. Last updated on May 13, 2020.

United Nations Foundation

This evaluation looks at the impact of Walmart's Women in Factories program by examining key performance indicators (KPI's) such as absenteeism, production efficiency, and turnover. 

Tufts University Labor Lab

Good Business Lab's evaluation of the P.A.C.E program - which trains female garment workers in soft skills and life skills such as reproductive health and financial awareness - shows that investing in the life skills of female garment workers delivers measurable ROI to businesses.

Good Business Lab

This report summarizes findings from program evaluations conducted by ICRW at six separate factory sites where P.A.C.E. is implemented. The report concluded that the P.A.C.E program yielded high returns for women, their families and the businesses where they work.

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

The chapter "A New Approach to the Well-Being of Factory Workers in Global Supply Chains" examines the success of a comprehensive worker survey to monitor the well-being of supply chain workers in factories.

Harvard SHINE Initative

This report presents an analysis of 47 reports on initiatives describing women’s health in the workplace and how such initiatives and their return on investments are measured.

Danish Family Planning Association

This self-assessment scoring tool for suppliers helps assess their adherence to existing laws and policies on worker health and well-being, including physical health, intellectual health, emotional health, social health, spiritual health, and enviornmental health.

SNV Netherlands and Bangladesh Institute for Labour Studies

This business case details cost packages, programs, and interventions that the apparel sector can implement to improve the health and well-being of their female supply chain workers in Kenya. Last updated on May 13, 2020.

United Nations Foundation

Read a summary from the Workplace Women's Health and Empowerment Regional Meeting in India that focused on the apparel sector and how companies can drive change on the health and well-being of their female workers in global supply chains.

United Nations Foundation

This report evaluates the workplace women's health program HERhealth and determines that it results in a 4:1 return on investment to companies.

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and Levi Strauss Foundation

This initiative aims to reach 60,000 women who work in factories that supply products to Walmart and other retailers, partnering with NGOs like Swasti, Business for Social Responsibility, and CARE. The return on investment is referred to as "value" on investment to emphasize the need to measure not just cost savings, but other elements that contribute to worker satisfaction, employee well-being and business performance. 


This report examines the business case for corporate involvement in community health and well-being, showing that community health has the potential to significantly reduce employee health costs and yields a significant return on investment.

Impact ROI

This report discusses USAID's Extending Service Delivery (ESD) program, a five-year reproductive health and family planning project that was used to conduct a study evaluating the return on investment of providing health services at a garment factory site in Bangladesh.


This powerpoint presentation explains the WWHE Global Trade Supplier Finance Program (GTSF), an IFC initiative for improving global supply chain sustainability and competitiveness.

International Finance Corporation

Other Resources

This article outlines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on female garment workers in supply chains across the world and the need to take action to meet their unique health and economic needs.

Fashion Revolution

This report attempts to estimate the size of the economic potential from achieving gender parity to mapping gender inequality. They use 15 indicators of gender equality in 95 countries and discuss the development of their Gender Parity Score (GPS) that gives a view of what will help to close the gender gap.

McKinsey Global Institute

This article provides new evidence on consumer demand for ethical products from experiments conducted in a U.S. grocery store chain. It determines that although consumers attach value to ethical sourcing, there is significant multiplicity in willingness to pay for it.

Review of Economics and Statistics

This article describes how many companies, including several in the apparel sector, have already begun empowering workers in their supply chains through programs that provide access to reproductive health information and services.

United Nations Foundation

This report discusses Levi Strauss' Worker Well-being program that aims to to raise the living standards of workers through partnerships with strategic vendors. The program asks that vendors communicate with workers, identify local challenges, develop and implement appropriate worker programs and forge partnerships to generate and sustain lasting impacts.

Levi Strauss and Co.

This report discusses setting business strategy and transforming markets in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Business and Sustainable Development Commission

This fact sheet states key statistics on employment in the garment industry, gender, and worth of the garment industry.

Clean Clothes Campaign

This guidebook helps organizations and companies determine how their factories can actively manage their health operations, such as what indicators apply, what action steps to take, and what resources are available for health improvements.

Levi Strauss Foundation

The program aims to train  60,000 women around the world over five years. It teaches factory workers critical life skills in communication, hygiene, reproductive health, and occupational health and safety, identifying personal strengths and gender sensitivity.



Photo: BSR

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