The Equal Opportunities Program

At O My Bag, our core values are reflected in every choice we make as a company. Creating fair job opportunities for both men and women, and facilitating new skills is an important part of this. That is why we’re excited to announce our Equal Opportunities partnership with Swayam and our producer Springfield.
by Sara Pakkanen on Mar 01, 2024

Throughout the years we have provided training in India to upskill and empower our producers’ employees where desired. From previous training sessions and the results of our annual worker survey, we know that female employees deal with specific challenges in their everyday lives at the factory. In an effort to ease these challenges for them, we’ve created the Equal Opportunities Program.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES? 


At O My Bag, we are fortunate to partner with factories who share our mission and are eager to improve working conditions. Female employees have informed us that they feel like they don’t always get the same job opportunities as their male colleagues, and that they don’t always feel safe to express their ambition. With the Equal Opportunities Program, we wish to change that.

O My Bag producers holding an "I made your bag" sign.

THE MISSION: O MY BAG x SWAYAM

Our goal is to implement positive change and working conditions for all employees, and we recognize that as an Amsterdam based brand, we are not experts on Indian working culture. This is why we’ve partnered with Swayam, a Kolkata based feminist organization committed to supporting women's rights and challenging discriminative value systems. Swayam advocates women empowerment by challenging societal norms and providing job opportunities, with the goal of encouraging self-confidence and self-sufficiency. We had the pleasure of collaborating with Swayam on our first Gender Awareness Training at our partner factories in March 2023, and together we’ve now created the Equal Opportunities Program.

Woman giving an equal opportunities training to employees at our factorySwayam equal opportunities training at Springfield factory.

THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM

The program is designed to improve the organizational structure, where women in particular are recognized for their work, valued for their skill set and feel safe and supported to pursue their ambitions. Empowering women in the workplace is a core focus, however educating male co-workers and management on current discrepancies is also an important part of the process.

Due to their intrinsic motivation and involvement in previous trainings, the pilot for the The Equal Opportunities Program will be carried out at Springfield factory in 2024. Implementing the program in one factory first allows us to track both the challenges and successes, making changes where necessary before implementing on a larger scale. In February 2024 we initiated the first training session at Springfield, specifically created for male supervisors.

O My Bag Producers at a training O My Bag producers at a training.

Overall it was a success and we look forward to taking further steps that create positive change. We’ll keep you posted! 

The session helped me reflect and share what it is to be a man in society - quote from training

Love,
O My Bag x