Managing Gender Inequalities in Supply Chains with Sam Ludlow Taylor

Podcast Interview

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Managing gender inequalities in supply chains is good for people and good for business. Meet Social Impact Pioneer – Sam Ludlow-Taylor, the Senior Manager for Human Rights Programmes at the John Lewis Partnership, which includes the supermarket – Waitrose. Sam is on a mission to tackle gender inequity from the bottom up and top down. With a rich background in commercial roles transitioning into ethical trade and responsible sourcing, Sam has experience ranging from business headquarters to factory floors across the food and clothing sectors.

Sam delves into why addressing gender inequality isn’t just ethically imperative but also crucial for business health and sustainability. Through her partnership with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)’s Work and Opportunities for Women (WOW) programme, she highlights the practical steps and success stories that illustrate the power of focusing on gender issues within supply chains.

She argues that gender inequality harms business efficiency and growth, stating, “50% of the population are women… if you tackle gender equality, the whole economy is bolstered.” This episode explores how initiatives aimed at women’s economic empowerment in agriculture—where women comprise 40-60% of the labour force in developing countries—can lead to increased farm yields and overall business benefits.

Sam emphasises the importance of partnerships for fostering positive change and creating sustainable business models that support women, especially in contexts vulnerable to climate change impacts. She also shares how the John Lewis Partnership’s commitment to purpose and democratic business practices underpins their efforts towards a more equitable and productive corporate environment.

Listen in to gain insights into the intersection of gender, business, and ethical supply chain management. Understand how targeted efforts to empower women not only lead to fairer working conditions, but also enhance operational efficiencies and societal benefits.

Click here for further Business Fights Poverty and Work and Opportunities for Women (WOW) resources.


Waitrose Foundation

John Lewis Partnerships, Creating Better Jobs

Farm Africa

UK Government, FCDO (2022): From risks to rewards – overcoming the impacts of climate change on women in agricultural supply chains.

Work and Opportunities for Women Gender Resource Kit

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