Anju, Bangladesh. Image supplied by Akash Panos / Oxfam
Addressing wage injustice within clothing supply chains
What She Makes Is Keeping Her In Poverty was the first speaker event to mark Oxfam and Deloitte’s 20th anniversary. Oxfam’s Advocacy and Campaigns Manager, Joy Kyriacou, addressed a standing-room-only event in our Sydney office about the plight of female garment workers within Australia’s clothing supply chains. Joy spoke of the drastic impact that being paid poverty wages has on the lives of the women who make our clothes, and shared the powerful stories of a number of women including Chameli, one of the 384 workers Oxfam spoke to for its research in Bangladesh.
“One afternoon, while Chameli was at work at the garment factory, her young son drowned in an open gutter at a construction site. Not long after, her husband suffered a heart attack and was hospitalised. With both funeral and hospital expenses looming over her, began a spiral of debt,” Joy said.
Cramped, overcrowded housing without sanitation, illness, family separation and sexual harassment in the workplace were among the many other issues faced by the garment workers interviewed.
Research conducted for Oxfam by Deloitte Access Economics – ‘A Living Wage in the Australia’s Clothing Supply Chain’ was the first of its kind in Australia. It shows that on average, just four per cent of the price of a piece of clothing sold in Australia goes to workers’ wages in Asian garment factories. Deloitte estimates that even if big companies passed the entire cost of paying living wages to all workers on to consumers, this would increase the price of a piece of clothing sold in Australia by just one per cent. This report provided critical information to support the What She Makes campaign.
Oxfam’s subsequent report “Made in Poverty”, formed the basis of a workshop, held at Deloitte’s Melbourne office in early 2019, that brought major fashion brands into a discussion on how to address this issue. “Deloitte provided a safe space and a constructive environment for the parties to meet and discuss this issue,” Joy said. She praised major fashion brands including Cotton On and Kmart for taking action to address wage injustice within supply chains. Assisted by Deloitte, Oxfam Australia has been at the forefront of the campaign to demand a living wage for women workers in the supply chains of Australian fashion brands.
Two further thought-provoking speaking events for The Deloitte Foundation’s 20th anniversary, one in Melbourne and another in Brisbane, further spread the word, increasing awareness and encouraging action.
A joint Deloitte–Oxfam quest in Sri Lanka
In June 2018, a team of young Deloitte leaders including Lily Burt, Melody McAllister and Jean-Marie Voon joined Oxfam Sri Lanka on a field trip to visit three different communities, each of which receives much-needed support from Oxfam.
The trip was part of Deloitte Australia’s National Impact Mission, a six-month, multidisciplinary pro bono project aimed at revitalising charitable giving for Oxfam Australia.
The Sri Lanka trip enabled the Deloitte project team to understand in depth the strategic, project-based nature of Oxfam’s work, and to gain the not for profit’s on-the-ground perspectives on the viability and feasibility of a potential solution to its fundraising challenges.
It also enabled the team to learn about the challenges facing farmers in the country, including natural disasters, attacks from wild animals, poor infrastructure and the sexual harassment of women.
After months of research and design, the Deloitte and Oxfam team developed a prototype for a new fundraising solution. ‘The Exploratorium’ is an online platform that provides families with the tools to start learning and talking with their children – the next generation – about giving, global citizenship and making an impact that matters.
After months of research and design, the Deloitte and Oxfam team developed a prototype for a new fundraising solution, ‘The Exploratorium’.
Deloitte teams learn about Oxfam’s Project Sunrise, Sri Lanka.
A spirit of giving
Our workplace giving program is a fundamental part of our culture. Deloitte dollar-matches regular donors’ financial support to our family of charities, and to emergency appeals the firm launches when crises strike.
Our 2018 triennial staff workplace giving survey revealed that 97% of participants believe it is important for Deloitte to be a responsible business and a good corporate citizen (70% say it is very important). It also found that a large majority of survey participants (75%) believe The Deloitte Foundation’s activities are an important part of their experience at Deloitte. The survey findings help ensure the charitable organisations we support resonate with our people – and by extension the culture we value so highly.
As well as our national community partnerships with Oxfam and Many Rivers, we support another 29 charities through workplace giving, pro bono support, and skilled and hands-on volunteering. On Impact Day, held every November, nearly 4,000 of our people support scores of non-profit organisations.
Our 2018 workplace giving survey revealed that 97% of participants believe it is important for Deloitte to be a responsible business and a good corporate citizen.
On Impact Day, held every November, nearly 4,000 of our people support scores of non-profit organisations.
Charities we support
- Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
- Australian Cancer Research Foundation
- Australian National University
- Australian Red Cross
- Beyond Blue
- Canberra Hospital Foundation
- Dress for Success Sydney
- Garvan Institute of Medical Research
- Guide Dogs Australia
- Many Rivers
- Mèdecins Sans Frontiéres
- Musicians Making a Difference
- Out for Australia
- Oxfam Australia
- Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness
- Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation
- Share the Dignity
- Starlight Children's Foundation
- St Vincent de Paul Society
- The Reach Foundation
- The Salvation Army
- The Smith Family
- Wirrpanda Foundation
- Worawa Aboriginal College
- World Vision Australia
- WWF Australia
Helping opportunities flow through Many Rivers
Many Rivers, one of Deloitte’s national community partners, is also one of Australia’s most respected microenterprise and community economic development organisations. Its rapidly expanding core work is with people from disadvantaged contexts, who receive access to finance and mentoring in business skills to help them start, stay and thrive in business. While the program is open to all it has a strong focus on supporting Indigenous Australians – who represent 41% of Many Rivers’ clients. Deloitte Access Economics established Many Rivers’ impact measurement framework and annually evaluates the not for profit’s operational impact.
To increase impact and fasten the pace of change occurring, Many Rivers is growing its service delivery across Australia with 48 staff now working in the field. However, sourcing and retaining skilled and motivated staff members in regional and remote locations in competition with mining and Government roles is a constant challenge. In FY19, Deloitte held a skilled pro bono workshop to help Many Rivers develop a sustainable retention and recruitment strategy. The Deloitte team found Many Rivers could enhance talent retention by focusing on four key areas: business model and structure; purpose and belonging; connectivity; and learning and development.
Aiding victims of cyclones, floods, drought and terror
When crises strike unexpectedly, we give our people the opportunity to contribute financially – and Deloitte dollar-matches their support. In FY19, we collectively supported appeals to assist drought-affected Australian farmers, as well as victims of the tsunami in Indonesia, the floods in Queensland, and Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The Deloitte Foundation also donated to victims of the 2019 terror attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka respectively.
Tsunami Palu. Image supplied by Andri Tambunan / Oxfam.
Tsunami Palu. Image supplied by Andri Tambunan / Oxfam.