The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), commissioned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to conduct research on participation in private sector service provision has published Yeşim Textile in the Care and Competitiveness Field Research Report among “Best Global Practices to Meet Women’s Care Needs in the Private Sector”. While the report includes private sector organizations operating in different countries and areas other than Yeşim, it was emphasized that Yeşim provided many benefits for its employees especially through on-site childcare and other egalitarian initiatives, and that the projects that the company put forward on behalf of gender equality contributed greatly to the company’s reputation and differentiated the company from others.
The study on free care services provided by the ICRW, in particular, focused on women’s participation in the labor force, free care services provided by the private sector in order for them to remain in the labor force, and how these services can be distributed equally among employees. In addition, economic and commercial reasons for private sector involvement in the field of care were examined in detail. Although the project, which is supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), focuses geographically on countries in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean regions and transition economies, it is worth noting that the policy tools developed especially for the stakeholders in the private sector can be evaluated globally.
In the research, together with Yeşim Textile, the competitiveness of California-based outdoor, sportswear and equipment company; Patagonia, EMD Serono; a 350-year-old family-owned company that produces medicines specifically for gynecological diseases and of the firms located in the Italian province of Trento was examined.
In the study, it is stated that most private sector companies see free care services as an important cost factor and thus refrain from investing in this area. It was emphasized that the lack of access to high-quality childcare services caused low productivity as well as high turnover and difficulty in recruiting or retaining quality female employees. According to the report, women spend significantly more time in free childcare than men. Women also spend twice as much time in household chores and four times as much in childcare compared to men. Other findings of the report are as follows: “Lack of access to quality care for young, old, sick and disabled people decreases female labor force participation and increases gender differences between genders. Women are more likely to choose workplaces that provide them with flexibility and childcare support. Employers offering childcare options increase staff productivity with absenteeism, greater focus, greater motivation and commitment. Without access to quality care, many women withdraw from the labor market or have to work hard in the part-time, even informal economy to fulfill their care responsibilities. Costs rise rapidly due to lack of access to quality care services in enterprises. Investing in childcare can significantly increase women’s participation in working life.”
Yeşim shows its difference with kindergarten service
In the study, while Yeşim Textile’s efforts to change the workforce in a positive way was addressed, it was also emphasized that through a series of projects the company promotes gender equality in the workplace through managerial composition. The report noted that Yeşim supported equal participation in the workplace for many years who made various initiatives to encourage men and women and underlined that Yeşim provided many benefits for its employees through on-site childcare and other equality initiatives.
In recent years, while Yeşim Kindergarten was shown as an example in various platforms in Turkey, the PRI radio in the United States listed it as one of the best practices on this issue, and interviews with employees and executives of the program were published.