From 2017 – 2019, the IFC ran the Waka Mere programme on the Solomon Islands, which focused on advancing workplace gender equality. In partnership with 15 large local companies, several interventions were implemented throughout the 2-year period. Solomon Airlines directed their efforts to addressing gender-based violence (GBV).
IFC, Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Solomon Airlines
The goal of the Waka Mere programme was to address social norms that prevent women and men from fully participating in the workforce, thereby reducing business productivity, profitability, and reputation. Interventions focused on promoting women in leadership, building respectful and supportive workplaces, and increasing opportunities for women in jobs traditionally held by men.
Research carried out in the Solomon Islands and in other countries has found that forms of violence such as domestic and sexual violence, bullying, and sexual harassment impact significantly upon employees’ ability to remain safely and productively employed.
You may also view this case study as a downloadable pdf.
In 2018, Solomon Airlines participated in a survey set up by Waka Mere on “How problems at home affect employees at work”. It focused on i.e. the prevalence of and employees’ views on domestic and sexual violence and its impact on workplaces. While the experience of violence is often assumed to be under-reported in studies like this, the IFC has deliberately followed existing guidance for such research intended to minimize under-reporting, and most importantly, not to do further harm or re-traumatize survey participants. Some main results include:
In response to the survey findings, Solomon Airlines undertook several activities:
In 2019, an endline survey was completed by staff, showing some promising results: