Equipping women garment workers at Ethiopia’s largest industrial park with leadership skills

13 May 2024

ILO’s Women Leadership Development Programme is helping factory workers in the garment sector in Ethiopia to thrive professionally and economically.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia– The Women Leadership Development Programme, a collaboration between the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Better Work and the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) Programme, is providing on-the-job coaching, mentoring, and training in soft and technical skills to female garment workers at the Hawassa Industrial Park.

The aim of the Programme is to equip factory workers with the skills necessary for supervisory and managerial roles. The training is provided by senior supervisors, mentors, and ILO trainers.

Firdous Habtamu, a Training and Development Executive at Hela Indochine Apparel PLC and Sumbri Intimates Apparel PLC in the Hawassa Industrial Park, is among 191 women who have benefited from the scheme. She has taken several training courses provided by Better Work since 2021, including in supervisory and leadership skills.

“Before the training, I used to work in production lines. I did not have communication skills. I used to fight with colleagues. I was not good in planning and time management, which affected my work,” she said.

“After taking the leadership training, I became a trainer in the factory’s training and development department. It was a good opportunity for me as it helped me improve my communication skills and made it easy to interact with my colleagues. This also helped me to be promoted across three grades, from supervisory to executive positions.”

Hareg Gemeda was originally hired as a production supervisor at JP Garment Ethiopia PLC, also in the Industrial Park. After a year at the factory, she participated in the ILO’s Women Leadership Development Programme as a mentor. The four-day training was followed by an on-the-job mentorship. As a result of the programme, Hareg was promoted from managing one production line to managing three production lines.

“The soft and technical skills training was motivational and important in helping me improve myself,” she said.

“The coaching was not only useful for my career, but also important in improving my personal life. I am now more confident and good at communicating with people. I have developed my leadership skills to manage staff under my supervision,” Hareg added.  

The coaching was not only useful for my career, but also important in improving my personal life. I am now more confident and good at communicating with people. I have developed my leadership skills to manage staff under my supervision

Firdous Habtamu

Training and Development Executive at Hela Indochine Apparel PLC and Sumbri Intimates Apparel PLC in the Hawassa Industrial Park

Azalech Abebe from the Hirdramani Garment factory is another beneficiary of the programme. She used to work as an operator and was promoted to a supervisory role after completing the training.

“Now, I am well prepared to undertake my duties as supervisor and want to grow more in my career,” Azalech explained. “I hope the ILO continues to give this training, so that others can also develop their skills and get promotions in their careers.”

Of the 191 workers who have participated in the Women Leadership Development Programme,  70 percent have since been employed in more senior and better paid roles.

Bizning xabarnomamizga obuna bo'ling

Doimiy axborot byulletenimizga obuna bo'lish orqali so'nggi yangiliklarimiz va nashrlarimizdan xabardor bo'ling.