January 30, 2024

People · Diversity, equity, & inclusion

Gildan Pilots ILO's Malkia Women in Leadership Program to Uplift Frontline Managers

Graduates of the Malkia program posing for a group picture in an office room

Leading apparel manufacturer Gildan is committed to fostering a culture of equity and inclusivity, a key aspect of which is supporting its female employees and providing them with empowering working conditions. In pursuit of furthering its initiatives to empower women, in 2023 Gildan piloted the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Malkia – Women Managers Rise Up: Skilling for Success program in its facilities in Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and the U.S. The program is designed for those in frontline management roles at Gildan’s manufacturing facilities. These leaders play a crucial role, acting as the bridge between on-the-ground staff and upper management.  

With Malkia, Gildan is on a mission to uplift these leaders. Available as an on-the-go mobile tool, Malkia imparts key managerial skills, allowing participants to gain confidence as team leaders and continue their journey of growth. The five-week online program educates them on concepts related to gender bias, and provides them with interactive learning opportunities, coaching through guidance and tips, and access to a library of resources and a community of peers.  

“Gildan has continued to demonstrate its commitment to uplifting women in its workforce and opening up leadership pathways,” says Silvia Matute, Director of Human Resources at Gildan. “With the latest addition of Malkia, we are able to reach even more of our female employees and invest in their growth. In 2024 and beyond, we are working to continue this collaboration with the ILO to make learning and supporting resources as widely available and accessible as possible.” 

Respect for People and providing its employees with safe, healthy, and empowering work environments have been longstanding priorities for the Company. It has in place several initiatives and programs which contribute to creating an empowering environment – the Women in Leadership – Ignite Your Impact program which brings together women from across the Company for a comprehensive leadership development experience; the partnership with World Vision to promote the economic empowerment of women in Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic; achieving gender parity globally across manager-level and below positions; and many more. Malkia is one more step in nourishing and fostering the leaders of tomorrow.