Seeking Myanmar Businesses to Participate in Research Project

Researching Respectful Workplaces in Myanmar

The ‘Respectful Workplaces in Myanmar’ research project is getting underway soon. Data collection activities will run in September and October throughout Myanmar. Factive is undertaking this research for the International Finance Corporation and the DaNa Facility.

The research is targeting businesses across a number of sectors, including finance, retail, agribusiness and tourism. It aims to better understand how bullying and sexual harassment affect employees and business productivity.

Participating firms will have the opportunity to learn about the benefits and best practices of respectful workplaces through a free presentation in their workplace. The research team will also run a variety of activities in workplaces to collect data from employees. Activities include surveys, focus groups discussions and safety walks. The research will be used to inform future programs and initiatives to promote respectful workplaces in Myanmar.

Businesses operating in Myanmar are encouraged to get involved. The research is anonymous. The names of employees will not be recorded, and no information received from businesses will be shared with anyone outside the research team.

An information sheet for potential participants is available by clicking on this link: Respectful Workplaces Research Information Sheet.

Enquiries can be made through Factive’s website contact page.



Transgender Training in NYC

The Transgender Training Institute Banner

Factive consultant Dean Laplonge just finished attending the ‘Transgender Training of Trainers Intensive’ 3-day program in NYC and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We encourage you to check out their website for more details and information if you are interested in learning more about the Transgender Training Institute (TTI) and their excellent courses. The following content about the TTI is reposted from their Facebook page:

By Transgender & Non-Binary People, For the Benefit of Transgender & Non-Binary Communities


The Transgender Training Institute (TTI) provides training and consulting services that are informed/provided by transgender and non-binary people, for the benefit of transgender and non-binary individuals and communities. We work across the United States, providing services including: expert facilitation of transgender-related professional development trainings, training of trainers/facilitators (TOTs), ally empowerment classes, online course design, climate assessments and technical assistance. We combine our topical expertise, formal training as educators, and decades of facilitation experience to provide your participants with powerful professional development trainings that inspire change.

Our hallmark program, the Transgender Training of Trainers Intensive is a three day program that helps transgender people, their loved ones and cisgender allies increase skills and success with teaching others about transgender people’s lives and experiences. We break down a “Trans 101” training, segment by segment, to help our participants understand the best ways to leverage their power as an educator to inspire advocacy and change. In 2018, we are proud to be taking our open enrollment courses to new locations!

Our newest program Ally/Advocate Training Camp, is a 15-hour course designed for individuals who want to be better allies to members of the transgender and non-binary communities – personally or professionally.

We offer both courses in Philadelphia and other locations by request. We are also able to come to you for an onsite course. Check out our website for more details and information!

Launch of Respectful Workplaces Research Program

On June 21, the first open forum was held for the Respectful Workplaces in Myanmar research project during an IFC Gender Awareness Workshop in Yangon, Myanmar. During the session, participants from a variety of organisations were provided an opportunity to learn about the project and discuss possible synergies. Several organisations were represented at the workshop, including the IFC, the DaNa Facility, Akhaya Women and Factive.

The majority of the workshop was devoted to learning about the work and approach of Akhaya Women:

For many years, Akhaya Women have worked to empower Myanmar women. They provide tools and support mechanisms for women in Myanmar to challenge gender stereotypes, to bring gender equality into their family homes and communities and to campaign for a safer and more equal environment for women to live in. The Akhaya model works to strengthen women’s self confidence through awareness, empowerment and experiential learning.

We would encourage anyone looking to learn more about women’s empowerment and gender equality in Myanmar to check out their website (pictured):

Gender Research: Respectful Workplaces in Myanmar

New gender research project in Myanmar

Today Factive received the official notification of our engagement on a 6-month project to research sexual harassment and bullying in workplaces in Myanmar, working together with the IFC, the DaNa Facility and the Research Advisory Group. The research project is titled, “Respectful Workplaces in Myanmar.”

Factive’s lead consultant, Dean Laplonge, will be arriving in Yangon today to meet with the research advisory team and complete the recruitment of our national researchers for this project.

The gender research will be conducted using a mixed methods approach combining qualitative interviews and focus groups discussions with staff, company management, and relevant stakeholders, with workplace surveys. It will primarily focus on collecting data from four key sectors, plus some additional groups:

  • Agribusiness
  • Finance
  • Retail
  • Tourism

There is currently little data on the forms that sexual harassment and bullying take in Myanmar, or the prevalence, or the financial costs to companies and the national economy. Some work has been conducted by MCRB, ILO, CARE, Action Aid and YTC, particularly focused on the garments sector, but there is no data on the corporate and finance sectors, agribusiness, and tourism sectors. There is a need for a rigorous evidence base to inform corporate engagement on respectful workplaces and potential government legislative reform.

– IFC.

Additional notes

The DaNa Facility (DaNa is Burmese for “prosperity”) is a program funded by the U.K. Department for International Development. It works to reduce poverty and increase incomes by fostering a strong business environment conducive to the creation of jobs and economic opportunities for SMEs and poor people.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in developing countries. The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C..

Photo by Dudva.

IFC publishes new gender toolkit

Unlocking Opportunities for Women and Business

The IFC has published a new gender toolkit for Oil, Gas and Mining companies to assist them with the planning and implementation of their gender diversity initiatives. Published in May 2018, the 67-page toolkit provides companies with tools, methodologies and model policies to draw from when developing or reviewing their gender initiatives. The toolkit content is structured around four key issues:

  1. Increasing Gender Diversity from the Workforce to the Boardroom
  2. Women-Owned Businesses and the Supply Chain
  3. Women and Community Engagement
  4. Addressing Gender-Based Violence in the Workforce

It is refreshing and commendable to see that this toolkit moves well beyond the largely unsuccessful model of ‘women in industry’ type initiatives that have tended to be narrowly focussed on the recruitment of women into traditionally male-dominated industries. Instead, the toolkit encourages companies to look across the supply chain for opportunities to improve the participation and equity of women, such as using women-owned businesses. It also provides tools to help companies tailor their community engagement activities to ensure that women’s voices are sought out and listened to, and looks at ways to identify, measure and address gender-based violence in the workforce.

Further information

  • Morgan Landy, Director, Infrastructure and Natural Resources, International Finance Corporation has published an excellent post on the IFC toolkit on the Business Fights Poverty website which you can read here.
  • The IFC toolkit, UNLOCKING OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN AND BUSINESS: A Toolkit of Actions and Strategies for Oil, Gas, and Mining Companies, is available as a PDF download here.

New global website now live!

Our website domain has changed to:

When we started Factive on the 22nd in January 2009, we only had one client based in Perth, Western Australia. Since those humble beginnings, we have worked on projects with dozens of fantastic new clients all over the world, including such far-flung places as Myanmar, Turkey, Papua New Guinea, the United States of America and Vietnam, and we have a new project commencing this year in Africa. Up until now, we have been using and .ca domains for our website, because our consultants have been primarily based in Australia and Canada. But with our increasingly global focus and with new employees currently being recruited in Myanmar, we thought it was about time that our website went global too!

Because of this change, it might take a little time for the search engines to index our new domain name and process the site move, so please be patient while that occurs over the next week or two. In the meantime, our old country level domains and will automatically redirect you to our new global domain: and any specific links from the old domains should still work.

If you experience any issues with the new domain, please contact us to let us know. Your feedback is highly valued.

Please update any of your existing bookmarks to reflect our new sitemap below.

New website sitemap

New research article on women’s safety in Papua New Guinea

Our principal consultant Dean Laplonge has published a new article based on his work exploring safety for women who work in remote locations in Papua New Guinea. This work has been completed through Factive’s client the International Finance Corporation, and in partnership with the Business Coalition for Women in PNG.

Article Title
Responding to paternalistic protection: Gender-smart safety for women working in remote locations in Papua New Guinea

The practice of a ‘gender-smart safety’ is an important part of recognizing and responding to specific risks faced by women in workplaces. This is a relatively new concept within the discourse of workplace safety, and one that is challenging traditional views about what safety is, how it should be managed and who should be included in this management. This article explores the findings of a research project that looks at the safety of women who have experience of working in remote locations in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

You can access the article here.

Clean Energy Council Innovation Award 2017

Congratulations to our talented consultant, Sue Griffin, who is a co-creator of an award-winning Australian-first electricity pricing innovation which works like a mobile phone plan, with an app to track usage. It was joint winner of the Innovation Award by the Clean Energy Council and shortlisted for the Business Community Engagement award. The pilot engaged the public as collaborators using an app, Facebook group, interviews, forums, surveys and video. This new product is being introduced into regional Western Australia.

Horizon Power has run a research pilot to test the features of a smart new pricing model for a 21st century energy system. It’s a new way of charging for electricity similar to a mobile phone plan. The idea is to leverage mobile phone literacy, rather than trying to build electricity literacy.

The research pilot was run for four months in Port Hedland over a summer, with very high customer engagement across multiple channels. The pilot engaged the public as collaborators using an app, Facebook group, interviews, forums, surveys and video. 407 participants volunteered to test the app and see if they could stay under the hourly peak allowance set for them by Horizon Power. This provided insight into people’s willingness and ability to manage their consumption or leverage technology in return for financial benefit.

See this ABC news article, or the video for more info:


Oil, Gas Firms Hit High Scores on LGBTQ Equality Index

Several oil and gas firms have achieved high scores on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s latest corporate equality index (CEI), which rates Fortune 500 workplaces on their treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) employees.

Find out which ones here!

Gender Equality conference in Vietnam

Fair Wear Foundation, in close cooperation with the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC/ILO), is hosting the 2017 Gender Forum in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

During this three day event, businesses, governments, NGOs and trade unions will share solutions to help put an end to gender-based violence in garment factories, a persistent and widespread problem.

Factive’s Dean Laplonge is attending and presenting. Dean is currently supporting the work of the ILO in Myanmar to conduct a gender equality assessment in the garment sector.

For more updates, see the Fair Wear Foundation Facebook page.