Cepham Ignites Data-Based Equitable Solution for Women Working in the Supply Chain

SOMERSET, N.J., April 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With most of Cepham’s supply chain based in India and Africa and smallholder farms contributing to 80% of their medicinal herbs, founder and president, Anand Swaroop, Ph.D., says that they have started to initiate an equitable employment solution for everybody in the supply chain. Of these active smallholder-farm owners, women comprise nearly 28% of them, despite being 50% of the stakeholders, which currently results in an unequal, unsustainable balance of resources.

“Women are looking at the food supply with different eyes. Women see every ingredient as food that will nourish the family, and this is vastly different from the traditional male mindset,” said Swaroop. “This perspective is something we profoundly lack in our supply chain – that human element, a consciousness that is so critical.”

Cepham Inc.

Although women are making strides in some areas of the workforce, and forward-thinking organizations are investing in, and elevating, female employees, significant challenges remain as you examine every woman’s position in the supply chain. A study from Procurious, an online supply chain and procurement network, found that gender-based adversity is common in the industry, affecting 74% of women surveyed in 145 countries.

Swaroop says Cepham’s starting point to address gender-based disparities begins with analyzing the data they’ve collected throughout the years from their supply chain for gender-based economic indicators. Additional data is being sourced by a few large-sector fertilizer companies in India to establish correlations. With this information, Cepham is developing a process to anonymize worker’s names and genders, to eliminate bias, in order to fairly identify the most productive workers and reward them based on accomplishments, and not by gender.

Once Cepham has the results from the data analysis, they plan to set goals for:

  • Education and training;
  • Microfinance, crop insurance, and vocational training programs;
  • Awareness campaigns to address underlying societal biases;
  • Developing partnerships with suppliers that prioritize gender equality;
  • Leveraging data to identify potential gaps in workforce diversity across all levels of the supply chain; and
  • Advocating for change within supplier networks and the industry at large.

“Gandhi said, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world,’ and so we have embarked on a data-based journey to balance resources,” said Swaroop. “In the past three decades, we have witnessed multiple examples of tangible commercial benefits of women's participation in our supply chain, but we also recognize major disparities. We want to use our time and capital to change that negative momentum and trend.”

Cepham plans on using all available resources to accomplish their goals including government initiatives. These include: access to education, vocational training, skill development programs, and increased access to credit women farmers; private sector initiatives that aim to provide better working conditions and fair wages for female workers in the agricultural industry; non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide support and advocacy for female farmers; and international organizations that promote gender equity through improved access to land rights and other productive resources, such as the United Nations Women’s Fund for Gender Equality (FGE).

Ultimately Swaroop’s goal is to demonstrate how an equitable supply chain makes an undeniable business case. He says giving credit to these women who are practically invisible in the supply chain creates a company culture that motivates all employees to be more productive. Learn more at: www.cepham.com.


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