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Collaborative Initiatives

Women in Factories China Program

Women make up a majority of China’s manufacturing sector, and businesses that invest in women’s skills, capacity, and empowerment will be better equipped to succeed.

Overview

Our Mission

The Women in Factories China program seeks to empower women and the factories where they work as agents of sustainable change.

Our Accomplishments

  • As of August 2016, 51 factories have been recruited in China’s coastal and mid-east regions.
  • 95,809 workers have completed foundational training—56,511 of them women.

According to initial assessments:

  • 70% of employees say that foundational trainings helped them better adapt to factory work.
  • 72% of employees said the skills learned in the foundational trainings helped them better solve problems in their personal lives and at work.
  • 80% of factory trainers said their self-confidence and communication skills improved.

Sponsor

Empowered by Walmart
The Women in Factories China program is funded through a three-year grant and partnership with the Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative.

Why Join?

  • Invest in women workers and provide opportunities for them to express their potential and grow their careers
  • Improve retention and productivity by equipping women workers with the knowledge, tools, and confidence they need to succeed in the workplace and at home
  • Build the capacity of human resources departments in factories to maintain an internal pipeline of high-potential women workers 

Video

Empowering Women Workers in China

Photo Gallery

Photo Slideshow from the Annual Women in Factories Conference, Hong Kong 2015

See More Photos

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more, please contact:

Lin Wang
Director, BSR
lwang@bsr.org
 

Our Insights

on Women in Factories China Program

BSR’s Women in Factories China Program: Moving from Risk to Value in the Supply Chain

Blog

BSR’s Women in Factories China Program: Moving from Risk to Value in the Supply Chain

The Women in Factories program has given women workers in China the skills and knowledge they need to change their lives and how they work, creating value for factories and catalyzing change in manufacturing supply chains.

Read More 


Addressing Women’s Empowerment Is Key to Sustainability: BSR’s Strategy for Business Action

Blog

Addressing Women’s Empowerment Is Key to Sustainability: BSR’s Strategy for Business Action

With the publication of the first UN High-Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment report, we are pleased to launch a new BSR practice to catalyze effective and ambitious business action on women's empowerment.

Read More 


Women in Factories China: Creating Good Jobs and Building an Inclusive Economy

Reports

Women in Factories China: Creating Good Jobs and Building an Inclusive Economy

The Women in Factories China program has trained more than 22,000 workers on work and and life skills. Testimonials from participants highlight how the program has affected their lives.

Read More 


Stories from the Factory Floor: The Women in Factories China Program

Blog

Stories from the Factory Floor: The Women in Factories China Program

Over the past 18 months, BSR and the Walmart Foundation have partnered to deliver more than 330,500 hours of workplace training to more than 22,000 workers across 36 factories through the Women in Factories China program. But statistics only tell one side of the story.

Read More 


Women in Factories China Program Companies

  • adidas
  • Boden
  • Brooks Sports
  • Dell
  • HP Inc.
  • Jabil Circuits
  • Samsung
  • Starbucks
  • Twinings
  • Walmart

Meet the Team

Shanghai


Zac Li

Zac Li

Trainer

Guangzhou


Shanghai


Lin Wang

Lin Wang

Director

Shanghai


Talk to Us  
Contact the Women in Factories China Program team with any questions.

In Her Own Words

Stories from BSR and Walmart’s Women in Factories Program in China


BSR believes women’s empowerment is critical to building an inclusive economy and sustainable future. We have been supporting women working in global supply chains for more than a decade, through individual company programs and our global partnership initiative, HERproject. These women face many vulnerabilities, including low wages and poor working conditions, limited access to critical products and services like health and financial services, and limited community-based resources, including basic infrastructure related to water and energy. At the same time, these women hold great potential as independent income earners, building marketable skills, and consuming in local economies.

One program BSR supports is Walmart’s Women in Factories program in China, which provides foundational and advanced training to women workers to build their skills in areas such as communications, management, life skills, health and nutrition, and financial literacy. Here we share six women’s perspectives on their participation in the program.

Li Yinghua

Li Yinghua (李迎华)

Hairishen Electric, Shenzhen, China

I manage a quality control team that tests batteries. The factory produces many types of electronics that have different recharge times—some are two hours and some are three hours. Before, it took two to three people to charge and test all the electronics, and there was downtime waiting for the electronics to charge. After the training on lean production, I thought about how to improve the efficiency of the workspace. Now I have rearranged the workflow so that as one worker is charging one electronic device, the worker can also test other electronics. I have reduced the number of workers on the line from three to one. The other two workers can now do more productive tasks. It’s really hard to hire and retain workers, so as a manager I need to think about how to put workers where they can make the most impact.

Huang Xiaoqun

Huang Xiaoqun (黄小群)

Hairishen Electric, Shenzhen, China

I work in the inventory department of Hairishen. Through the training, I have learned how to eat more nutritiously and exercise more often. I have also learned that I should praise my child and be his friend.

Huang Pingyou, Huang Xiaoqun’s Supervisor:

Before the training, Xiaoqun was rather shy, and she would ask me to communicate to other coworkers for her. Now her self-confidence has increased, her communication with other coworkers has also increased, and she doesn’t need to come to me to resolve conflicts. Her accuracy has also increased, and she’s one of the most productive workers in the inventory department now.

Zhang Lihui

Zhang Lihui (张丽慧)

Hairishen Electric, Shenzhen, China

My husband and I both work in Shenzhen, but my family is in Hunan. When my son was only 1 year old, I left him in Hunan in the care of other family members. I only go home once a year, so I try to call him often, but he doesn’t want to talk to me. In his heart, he didn’t have a place for me, his mother.

During the Parent-Child Communication training, I learned that I have to talk to my son about topics he’s interested in. So now when I call him, instead of asking him, “What did you learn in school?” I now ask “Did you have fun today?” and “Who did you play with?” Last time I talked with my son, he asked me to bring home a badminton racket for him to play with. He’s actually looking forward to me coming home!

Zhang Lihui

Yang Xiaoyan (杨晓燕)

Hairishen Electric, Shenzhen, China

I work in the hardware department at Hairishen. Before the training, I would eat whatever and whenever I wanted. I often skipped breakfast, so I could sleep in. After the Nutrition and Exercise training, I eat breakfast and my memory and productivity has improved. In my job, I have to go to the inventory department often, but I would often forget to bring something with me, necessitating multiple trips. Eating breakfast has really helped my memory, so now I just make one trip to the inventory department. I also learned what nutritional content is in which foods, which helps me think. Before, I had a hard time communicating with my supervisor. My supervisor said it took a long time for me to get to the point. Now that I eat more nutritiously, I also think more clearly and can better form my thoughts before speaking.

Zhang Lihui

Ye Mei Lan(叶美兰)

Hop Lun, Heyuan, China

I have worked as a line manager in the dispatching department for the last three years. In the past, I spent what money I had on whatever I wanted. Then I learned how to record my daily expenses, where I should be spending money, where I shouldn’t be spending money, how to save money. It has helped me greatly. With the money I’m saving, I plan to use it on my child’s education or buy an apartment.

Zhang Lihui

Chen Chunlian (陈春莲)

Hop Lun, Heyuan, China

I am a line worker in the packaging department. As part of my job, I need to do quality control checks. Before the training, I was afraid to talk to the worker responsible when I saw a quality problem. I used to ask my supervisor to talk to the worker so that I didn’t have to do it. Now I have the confidence to speak to the worker directly. I also don’t get upset anymore when my supervisor gives me feedback. The Communication module has really improved my skills and relationships with coworkers.