Collecting gender-disaggregated data from suppliers by businesses is of key necessity. In order to identify human rights risks in the supply chain, it is important to collect information (data) that provides a better understanding and insight in the supply chain, all essential to make informed strategic decisions and adaptations. 

Research shows that many businesses either don’t collect sufficient data, or they don’t know what (strategic) data to collect or how to best collect it. 

What is gender-disaggregated data

Gender-disaggregated data means data that is collected and analyzed separately on males and females. This gender-differentiated data provides insights into the different challenges, positions and roles of men and women in the supply chain and it also captures differences in men’s and women’s participation, productivity, and profitability. 

The data provides key information for developing more comprehensive, efficient, and relevant response and recovery strategies, in addition to formulating more effective policies and procedures.

Essential for gender-responsive sourcing & procurement 

Since sourcing & procurement are the gateway to the supply chain of organizations (private & public), it is a pivotal strategic instrument to address, prevent and mitigate human rights risks.

Gender-responsive sourcing & procurement includes applying a gender lens to the sourcing and procurement policies, practices and procedures to ensure that both men and women have equal opportunities and access to rights and resources and that gender equality in the supply chain is promoted instead of jeopardized.

To apply a gender lens to the sourcing & procurement an organization needs to start with the collection of gender-disaggregated data.

When organizations have a better understanding of the position and situation of women in their supply chain through the collected gender-disaggregated data, they can adapt gender-responsive sourcing & procurement policies, procedures and practices to manage and influence their suppliers and also engage and support suppliers to promote gender equality in their organizations.

How to start gender-disaggregated data collection

Here are some recommendations for organizations to begin the collection of strategic gender-disaggregated data from your suppliers.

Internal planning phase:  Collecting gender-disaggregated data from your suppliers can be quite a journey. It requires a clear strategy and planning and includes:

  1. Ranking suppliers according to high/low-risk (product, country, spend)
  2. Identify the person/department that is responsible for data collection assigning internal responsibilities, and decide how to collect the data. 
  3. Analyze the shared business case and opportunities.
  4. Develop a method for managing the gender-disaggregated data.

Execution phase: This is the phase where you announce the program to your supply chain and start the data collection process. This means: training your suppliers and monitoring their progress.

  1. Inform your suppliers about your focus on gender equality and why this is important for your organization
  2. Engage with your suppliers to build their understanding and capacity to collect data (training).
  3. Set clear goals and objectives with your suppliers
  4. Collaborate with suppliers to measure and evaluate progress.  


Author: Greta Pizii