Women are often disproportionately affected by adverse business practices, which warrants a due diligence process that responds to their specific needs. GRDD is based on the recognition that human rights violations are not gender neutral and should not be treated as such. GRDD builds on HRDD by using the same six step framework as presented in the OECD Guidance for responsible business conduct. While in a regular HRDD process gender might be added as a standalone theme, GRDD incorporates gender throughout all of the steps and activities of the due diligence process.

The use of gender on this platform

Gender and sex are not the same.
Sex points to different biological characteristics of females, males and intersex persons. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles and expectations of people. Gender affects all aspects of an individual’s life experience, including legal, economic, environmental, social and cultural aspects.

We define “gender-responsiveness” primarily in terms of women’s resilience, given that adverse impacts across businesses disproportionately affect women. All references to women can be understood to include girls as well as women who are transgender and cisgender.

A high-level overview of the 6 steps of GRDD:

The first step calls for strong management systems. This includes a commitment to addressing adverse impacts resulting from or connected to supply chain activities, and recognises that these impacts are not gender neutral nor should they be treated as such. Companies then review their policy framework and make adjustments where necessary to reflect this commitment. Suppliers and other business relations need to be included in this process.

Here companies conduct a gender-responsive scoping assessment to identify and assess adverse impacts relating to human rights, labour rights, and the environment. For each identified risk companies look at how the likelihood and the impact of the risk differs for men and women. Some gender-specific risks are not easily identified through a regular scoping assessment. Therefore, companies also actively look out for these risks.

Based on the outcomes of the scoping assessment, companies need to make plans to cease, prevent or mitigate the identified risks. In creating this plan, companies evaluate what actions they need to take and whether different actions need to be taken based on the gender of the affected group. Thus, companies adopt a gender lens to their plans to ensure that the actions they take are appropriate and effective.

Once plans are in place and executed, the fourth step is to monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the company’s due diligence measures. To gain a more complete understanding of the outcomes of your actions, it is important to collect gender-disaggregated data where possible and to work with suppliers to set up a social auditing system in a gender-sensitive way.

Stakeholders such as consumers, government and suppliers are keen to learn about companies’ due diligence efforts and outcomes. Communicating about progress made and learned lessons also helps to raise awareness about challenges and opportunities in a sector. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate the company’s commitment to GRDD by publishing gender-disaggregated data and sharing experiences that contribute to supporting the position of women in international supply chains.

Despite efforts to minimise risks, it is possible that adverse impacts occur. When this happens, companies should support and provide for remediation. Gender-responsive remediation means processes and mechanisms are designed to ensure equal access and equal outcomes for all genders. To achieve this, corporate grievance mechanisms must be accessible, efficient, safe and fair to women, taking account of barriers women are more likely to face with respect to language, literacy levels, access to information and digital technology, mobility, and lack of time due to unpaid care responsibilities.

All steps are explained in greater detail on the Implement part of the website. Here you can also find examples, case studies and practical resources for each step to further support your GRDD process.