Bangladesh: Gender Equality and Returns–GEAR

12 Sep 2023

Leadership & skills development for women empowerment and productivity

Gender Equality and Returns (GEAR) is a special initiative of Better Work Bangladesh jointly implemented by the International Labour Organization (IL) and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Piloted in 2016, the initiative has made significant strides in advancing women’s economic potential and improving access to better jobs and opportunities for women. Initially rolled out in 80 MG factories, including four Export Processing Zones Factories, the programme has been expanded to more factories.

GEAR aims to:

  • Promote women’s career progression opportunities.
  • Equip women with technical, managerial, and leadership skills.
  • Support enterprises to increase productivity through skills development.
  • Promote and integrate gender equality in the management system.
  • Capacity building of management to promote, retain and nurture female talents

Impact of GEAR in Bangladesh

Supported 105 factories and trained more than 800 female workers with 6-month-long technical and
soft skills training.

  • A total of 395 female workers were promoted to supervisory positions, and 200 more are in the pipeline.
  • Promoted women supervisors received a 39% wage increase.
  • On average, increased productivity by 5% in lines supervised by the GEAR trainees.
  • Established a win-win model for business productivity through gender equality.
  • Partnered with leading international brands, including M&S, H&M, Levi’s Foundation, Ralph Lauren, VF
    Corps.and so on.

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