Hybrid Conference Highlights IETP’s Achievement in Promoting Family Friendly Workplaces

The 6th Family Friendly Spaces (FFS) program came to a successful end this summer. In addition to creating an unforgettable summertime for working parents and their children, the program also brought many unforgettable memories and positive impacts to the participating factories and program sponsors.

To provide a platform for participating companies to exchange their views and enable those who are interested to join the program to understand how it operates, The ICTI Ethical Toy Program (IETP) organized a day conference in October which attracted over 80 participants. The hybrid event offered both in-person and virtual formats, due to the travel restrictions of COVID-19, the venue was sponsored by C&C Joint Printing Co., (Guangdong) Ltd., one of the participating factories.

Carmel Giblin, CEO & President of IETP, in her opening remark of the ceremony, highlighted that childcare is one of the most common reasons workers leave their jobs at factories. Family-Friendly Spaces is therefore a valuable program to helping manufacturing businesses combat this challenge and is proven to effectively meet the needs of workers, and, as a result, attracts and retains workers. Anita Lo, IETP Program Director, followed-on to share encouraging data from the program, including that it has benefited over 3,700 parent workers and 3,200 children since its launch in 2016. Among the factories who have repeatedly joined the program, 85% of the participating workers said they would stay working in the factory for at least 2 years; for factories that participated for the first time, 91% of their participating workers would like to work in a factory which runs a Family-Friendly Spaces program. 

In addition to members of our team, we invited program sponsors, partners and representatives from participating factories to share their thoughts as well as the benefits the program has generated for them. These included: the LEGO® Group, The Marketing Store, Unicef China, Ying De Best Top Toys Co., Ltd., Dongguan Golden Cup Printing Co., Ltd., Combine Will (Cangwu) Industrial Company Limited and C&C Joint Printing Co., (Guangdong) Ltd.

Guest speakers took turns to share their thoughts towards the program. Claudia Zhang, the representative from the LEGO® Group, one of the program sponsors, shared that one of the Group’s responsible business principles is to build a family-friendly workplace. To make the Family-Friendly Spaces program more sustainable, the group will continue sponsoring refresh training for the Family-Friendly Spaces teachers and volunteers. Next, Ellen Cheng from Unicef China highlighted the importance of early childhood development and how family-friendly policies enable parents to give their children the best start in life while boosting factories’ productivity. She shared the organization fully supports the implementation of the Family-Friendly Spaces program.

During the factories sharing session, representatives from 4 participating factories showcased their tailored-made curriculum created for the children, including a cooking class, DIY workshop, communication skills training, and much more. Each part of the curriculum covered a wider range of content which allowed the children to explore their interests and reach their full potential. A shared theme in their presentations were children’s smiling faces and inspiring results. All factories agreed the Family-Friendly Spaces program improved worker satisfaction and team cohesion, leading to a more efficient workforce.

Conference participants were also invited to tour C&C Guangdong’s Family-Friendly Space to see the renovated function room and new equipment installed for the space, as well as hosting the small groups' discussion there. The discussion produced lots of helpful ideas using the insights gained from the Family-Friendly Spaces program, for example, a breastfeeding room for mothers to use, organizing a team of parent volunteers so that they can spend quality time with their children while helping-out with the activities.

The conference ended with Carmel, our President & CEO, showing her appreciation for all the support and involvement of our sponsors and participants, sharing her ambitions for the future of the program, that IETP will continue to find ways to develop worker well-being programs and provide support to help factories become more family-friendly.

Participants share their ideas to effectively run an FFS program

To learn more about our range of programs, or if you are interested in supporting our migrant parents' training and gender equality program please contact join@ethicaltoyrogram.org to show your interest.

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