How is this Gender-Responsive Due Diligence?
Step 2 of Gender-Responsive Due Diligence (GRDD) focuses on the process that companies need to go through to identify and assess both the actual and potential adverse impacts in their supply chain. VF Corporation takes a comprehensive approach, with two departments looking at different aspects of due diligence to provide a holistic view of adverse impacts: the Global Impact team focuses on corporate human rights and value chain due diligence, reporting to the Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and Public Affairs, while a supply-chain focused Worker’s Rights team reports to The Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain.
These teams work closely together to identify gender-related risks in the supply chain via:
- Securing information from gender experts via stakeholder engagement and roundtable discussions with international NGOs, civil society, trade unions, and lobbyists. A 2020 roundtable started with a focus on women’s rights, and the intelligence gathered helped to solidify GBVH as a priority issue.
- Conducting an annual needs assessment through their Worker and Community Development Programme, which asks gender related and GBVH questions that help provide direct insight into challenges faced by factory workers. This allows suppliers and workers to share their factory and workforce needs to VF Corporation. This assessment includes more than 150 suppliers – primarily Tier 1 and some nominated Tier 2 suppliers – representing over 7000 workers.
- Carrying out an annual impact assessment to inform implementation of the Worker’s Rights strategy.
- Utilising insights of the most salient risks from globally positioned team members – including the Sustainable Operations team members, based in production countries, who work closely with factories and can observe risks, hear directly from workers, and help build knowledge capacity within the factory.
- Matching supply chain insights with external evidence and data (reports), movements (#MeToo), and conventions (ILO Convention 190)
- Engaging with leading NGOs to review VF policies and procedures with a gender sensitive lens, including audit scope, to improve their overall approach to support women workers.
- Publishing a value chain wide Commitment to Eradicate Gender Based Violence and Harassment in line with ILO Convention 190.
- Committing publicly to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (GRDD Step 1) and leveraging the principles as a framework to support their deeper focus on women’s safety and eradicating harassment (aligning with WEP Principle 3).