Despite the economic benefits of a gender diverse workforce, Pakistan’s female labour force participation remains one of the lowest in the region. Mobility barriers, workplace culture and lack of flexibility often impact women’s decisions to join and/or leave the workforce.
Against the backdrop of structural and cultural barriers, Interloop has set out on a journey to challenge the status quo and build a diverse and inclusive workforce. As a signatory to UN’s Women Empowerment Principles, Interloop has focused on creating a family-friendly workplace with leadership commitment and a clear strategy in place. Interloop’s enhanced maternity protection and parental leave, flexible working options and accessible and quality childcare programme have been instrumental in creating a family-friendly workplace. All of its manufacturing sites have purpose-built day-care centres which follow a play based learning curricula focusing on children’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social well-being. Qualified school teachers along with professionally trained staff ensure a safe and healthy environment for the children with separate rooms for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, including dedicated outdoor playing spaces. Interloop also offers a return-ship programme enabling women to return to work who had to leave the company after marriage or due to motherhood.
As a result, Interloop has over 1500 women working at various positions including non-traditional roles such as engineers, lab technicians, knitting machine operators, environmental scientists and many more. In Pakistan, women make up less than 10 percent of STEM professionals while at Interloop, 40% of female executives have STEM degrees. The company’s Board has a 15% gender ratio and the executive management has close to 30% women in leadership roles. Creating a family-friendly workplace has enhanced employee motivation and enriched Interloop’s reputation as an employer of choice, ultimately translating into improved organizational performance.
Interloop Limited is a world leading, vertically integrated manufacturer of multi-category apparel goods including hosiery, denim, knitwear and seamless. Interloop’s commitment to leadership in social and environmental consciousness has gained it global recognition and partnership from organisations including Fair Trade USA, UN Global Compact, UN Women and Swiss Business School Lausanne. Interloop is focusing on integrating automation in its core processes and adopt industry 4.0 as it steps into a new decade while creating diverse and family-friendly work environments that are innovative, resource efficient, and safe for its workers.