Denim Expert Ltd. is committed to equality for all in the workplace and we are passionate about the development of our employees. Under the guidance of our managing director, MD Mostafiz Uddin, we embrace the opportunity to offer mentoring and tutoring to those employees looking to further develop their skills and position.
As a company we are fully committed to gender equality in the workplace, with employees being judged on their abilities, regardless of their gender or sexual preferences. MD Mostafiz Uddin believes so passionately in this topic that he recently wrote an article in the Daily Star newspaper, highlighting the need for gender equality and the empowerment of women in the Ready-Made Garment industry.
Having read the article the founder of the Asian University for Women (AUW) Mr. Kamal Ahmad, contacted MD Mostafiz Uddin with a view to explore how the AUW could collaborate with Denim Expert Ltd. and how MD Mostafiz Uddin’s positive attitude towards female empowerment could be incorporated in the AUW’s PATHWAYS FOR PROGMISE programme.
The Asian University for Women (AUW), founded in 2008, is a regional university based in Chittagong, Bangladesh. It draws women of uncommon academic capability and leadership potential from across Asia and the Middle East. It focuses particularly, but not exclusively, on identifying talent from among the most neglected population groups and bringing them to the highly multi-cultural residential community of its campus. AUW have found renowned factories like Young One, Knit Concern, Mohammadi Group, Ananta Group, Kenpark as their partners so far in this endeavour and for the upcoming session. They have already taken an admission test of a group of wonderfully talented female workers from Pacific Jeans Limited as a part of their CSR activities.
Pathways for Promise
Pathways for Promise seeks to break aspirational barriers for young women who represent severely marginalized groups including Ready-Made Garments (RMG) workers, Rohingya ethnic minorities and daughters of Grameen Bank borrowers.
To further deepen Asian University for Women’s (AUW) reach into communities that remain underserved, AUW launched Pathways for Promise in January 2016. Pathways for Promise is an intensive one-year pre-university residential program tailored to the needs of a sector of students who, were it not for Pathways, would not have the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate Liberal Arts degree and reap the numerous consequent benefits for both themselves and the communities they come from. Pathways enables AUW to create an unprecedented channel for educating women from several of the most neglected and oppressed groups of women, including women working in Bangladesh’s garments factories and Rohingya women.
Creating Opportunities for Female Garments Workers.
Bangladesh has nearly four million women who work in this export sector. AUW reasoned that any group that large must have some extraordinary talent. In collaboration with a select group of factory owners, AUW offered admissions tests on the shop floors of factories. Participating factory owners offered a huge incentive — workers accepted for admission would continue to receive their monthly wages for all five years at AUW. Still, nobody knew if any of workers would try. Over one-thousand did, and now, 35 former garments workers are enrolled in Pathways. Seeing the success of the program, many factories around the country have registered their interest to be a part of this project in the upcoming school year.
Having discussed the programme with Mr. Ahmal Kamad, MD Mostafiz Uddin agreed that it was the type of initiative that Denim Expert Ltd. should support and instructed our HR Department to immediately start the necessary processes.
Denim Expert Ltd.’s HR started the necessary communication with the authority of AUW and the representatives of the Pathways for Promise programme. AUW provided all the relevant papers and brochures with the details of the Pathways for Promise informational package.
To enter the Pathways for Promise programme, AUW required the names of interested candidates among the female workers who had already passed the Higher Secondary Certificate Exam.
Denim Expert Ltd. announced the details to all the workers at the factory and offered detailed description of the programme and its requirements, as well as arranging a detailed circular for the benefit of all interested candidates.
A total of eight female members of staff expressed their interest in the programme and submitted their names to the HR Department. The interested candidates subsequently took part in a series of written and oral exams held on 11th June 2018. The authorities of AUW controlled the examination process and assessed the submitted examination papers.
The AUW announced the result of the examination process, and Denim Expert Ltd. are delighted to confirm that Ms. Shapla Akhter has been selected for admission to a 5 years Bachelor of Science/ Arts programme at the AUW, subject to her passing the necessary health screening tests, in accordance with AUW policy.
The HR Department organized the necessary medical tests as defined in the guidelines of AUW, and Ms. Shapla Akter has been pronounced fit as all the health reports were satisfactory and she is now excitedly waiting to start her studies.
MD Mostafiz Uddin has already agreed that he will cover the fees and expenses of her course for the 5 years of her study. During this 5 year period she will be unable to continue in her role at Denim Expert Ltd. but she will still receive her regular salary, bonus and other benefits in line with her position at Denim Expert Ltd.