Hela Clothing, a global apparel manufacturer with factories across Kenya, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka, was recently awarded the ‘Most Inclusive Employer of the Year’ by the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD) at the Inclusive Employers Forum.
This award was in recognition of Hela’s efforts to nurture a culture of inclusivity within their workforce that is further exhibited in their hiring, promoting and retention policies, Hela Clothing announced issuing a media release.
Manique Jayasooriya David, Group General Manager – Human Resources and Administration quoted in the media release as saying “This award is further validation of the company’s belief that its strength lies in diversity.
It has also set procedures and programmes in place to ensure that we empower our team members as well as take care of their health and needs.
This includes transparent decision making, clear-cut career paths, opportunities to upskill, free meals, free transportation, free onsite medical care, and many more, she added.
According to the World Report on Disability jointly issued by the World Bank and World Health Organisation, 17.6 per cent of the Ethiopian population lives with disabilities while 95 per cent of all persons with disabilities in Ethiopia are estimated to live in poverty with many depending on family support and begging for their livelihoods.
Having commenced operations in Ethiopia in 2017, Hela’s Ethiopian operation quickly grew to employ 1600 people and account for over two thirds of the country’s total knit women’s underwear exports.
In 2019 the factory reached the milestone of producing over one million units per month with a target to increase to two and half million units per month by 2021, she disclosed.