Case study 5.2
Ethical Tea Partnership training to tackle discrimination and harassment in Kenya

The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) has carried out the ETI ‘Supervisor Management Training Programme’ in the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Ltd (KTDA) factories. The programme is mainly geared towards supervisors because they have daily contact with workers and are largely responsible for how they are treated. Supervisors often have very little formal management training and therefore struggle with sensitive issues such as discrimination and harassment.

The training of supervisors is focused on the importance of managing people with respect. It increases supervisors’ understanding of harassment and discrimination, thereby reducing incidences of abusive behaviour. Using role-play and other interactive sessions the training aims to improve supervisors’ overall people management skills. It also gives them the skills and knowledge to identify and address issues of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment.

In addition, training of managers has been carried out to raise awareness of the issues and to show managers how to ensure that there is a culture of respect in the workplace. The training introduces policies and systems that can be utilized to support supervisors and eliminate poor practices.

At the start of the project ETP co-financed the training of 11 ETI-accredited trainers, which included ETP’s Africa staff. The training has been carried out across all 66 KTDA factories, as well as with head office management, training more than 1,000 managers, supervisors, and workers.

Following the training, gender committees have been set up at the head office and in all the KTDA factories.  It is also compulsory for each factory board to have female representation.  According to the ETP the benefits for business and workers include: improved working conditions, fairer working environments, increased staff morale, more effective management and increased productivity.

A ‘Social Issues’ Training Manual has been developed to support capacity building in the tea sector on gender and social issues, which includes modules on ‘Sexual and gender-based violence, human rights and how this can be managed in the workplace’ and ‘Sexually transmitted infections and their effects on both women and men’. The modules contain information, group exercises and case studies.