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Impacts of Soft Skills Training for Female Garment Workers

The P.A.C.E. program trains female garment workers in soft skills and life skills such as financial awareness, problem solving, reproductive health, and decision making. Our evaluation of this program shows that investing in the life skills of female garment workers delivers measurable ROI to businesses.

  • Female P.A.C.E. workers were 11-12% more productive.
  • Additional person days and worker productivity provided a 250+% net return on investment eight months after program completion.
  • P.A.C.E. trained workers were more likely to invest in their children's education and avail state sponsored welfare schemes.

Improving the Physical Working Environment in Garment Factories

Garment factories in India rarely control for temperature or pollution. How important is it in driving productivity and improving the work environment?

  • Replacing fluorescent lighting with LEDs reduced energy consumption by roughly 85%, reducing the average indoor temperature by roughly 2.4°C.
  • Additional profit from increased worker productivity was 5X larger than energy cost savings.
  • Exposure to air pollution significantly reduced worker productivity, reflecting both worker welfare reductions, and lost profit for the firm.

Soft Skills Training for Line Managers

S.T.I.T.C.H. (Supervisors' Transformation Into Change Holders) is a soft-skills training for line supervisors on factory floors. It addresses issues of abuse and harassment and team productivity to improve workplace outcomes and the general work environment.

  • The content of the training was drawn from an extensive survey of the managerial practices at Shahi.
  • Using econometric methods, we identified aspects of managerial quality which are the most important determinants of productivity.
  • The experiment covers 2002 supervisors - 1039 receiving the treatment and 963 part of the control group, receiving the treatment in the second phase.

Impacts of Tackling Anemia Among Female Garment Workers

Young female garment workers (FGWs), especially migrants often have low blood hemoglobin levels, resulting in persistent weakness and fatigue, affecting their energy levels, and overall physical and mental wellbeing. How do we improve adherence and take-up of iron tablets amongst anemic women?

  • 43,000 FGWs across all Shahi factories in South will be tested for anemia.
  • The appropriate dosage of iron supplementation tablets will be administered to the anemic women over a period of 3-6 months.
  • The method of iron tablet administration will be varied across randomly chosen groups to understand factors that drive adherence and take-up.

Rural Training Centers to Unlock Female Labor

Through randomized controlled trial we are trying to understand the impacts of rural training centers on women, their households and their communities.

  • The female labor force participation rate in India fell from 36% in 2005-06 to 24% in 2015-16.
  • We are randomizing the placement of 10 rural training centers by Shahi Exports across 20 regions in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to study the impacts of migrant employment opportunities.
  • Preliminary data collected through Participatory Rural Appraisals in 1300 villages across 53 taluks in Karnataka shows that for 57% of women the primary activity is working on the family farm.

Determinants of Managerial Quality

What combination of skills and traits make for a good manager, specifically in a manufacturing setting in a developing country? We matched two years’ data on daily, line-level production from 6 garment factories to find out how various managerial traits of a supervisor affect worker productivity.

  • Traits studied were - tenure, cognitive skills, autonomy, personality, control, attention, and relatability to workers.
  • The tenure and cognitive skills of a supervisor are key drivers of a worker's productivity.
  • Traits which are not easily observable, like relatability to workers seem to be undervalued in pay overall.

Impacts of Improving the Management of Hostels for Migrant Workers

Indian garment companies often hire rural women, and their relocation from villages to cities is a significant transition for the workers and the company.

  • Through randomized controlled trial covering 7,500+ residents in 80 hostels, we studied how housing quality affects the subjective well-being and workplace outcomes of migrant garment workers.
  • There were objective improvements in safety, cleanliness, and congestion, and reduction in subjective well being and mental health of those workers whose expectations regarding the hostel takeover were set high before the takeover.