Winglow has spent three decades making clothes that create confidence, and we are proud to dress professional women all over Ghana. As a female-led business, empowering women through our business practices is very important to us.
The majority of workers in Ghana’s clothing industry are part of the informal sector. According to Oxfam International’s report Ghana: Extreme Inequality in Numbers, only one in five jobs meets the standard of ‘decent work,’ meaning that 20% of Ghanaians are living in poverty. Women are disproportionately affected by this, with girls less likely to be educated, more likely to have insecure employment, and less likely to own assets.
For many women, the lack of flexibility in their working environment means the choice between caring for their family or contributing to their household income. Winglow’s founder, Awurabena Okrah, is married with children of her own, and understands first hand the difficulties and dynamics of balancing responsibilities at home and work, while ensuring career sustainability and making room for personal growth. This was a strain she wanted to lessen for staff at Winglow.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Our tailors work on a ‘payment by piece’ model, which gives our predominantly female workforce greater flexibility in managing their day. They’re able to start early or stay late, or they can contact their supervisor in advance if they are unable to come in.
In addition, the company takes a three week break over Christmas and Easter to allow workers time to travel to see family, and ensure that any old or infirm family members are supported.
Ongoing training and education is important, not just for a well-skilled workforce, but also the self-confidence of employees. Over the years, our staff have enjoyed external training from women’s organisations like SHE IMPACT, the Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association, and fashion departments of tertiary institutions and polytechnics.
We also offer continual professional development through the Winglow Fashion Academy. Last year, three of our part-time dressmakers were enrolled in our government-sponsored Competency Based Training, increasing their professional skills while still being able to earn an income.
We have created a conducive environment for nursing mothers so that women don’t have to abandon their careers to take care of their babies. While we lack the funds to create a dedicated nursery, we have adapted workstations so that nursing mothers can have their babies beside them for feeding and sleeping from as young as three months, and then have a safe space to walk and crawl as their mother works.
It was this system that allowed Rose, our then Brands, Marketing and Administration Manager, to avoid the difficult decision to abandon her career when she gave birth to twin daughters. Her husband was working away in another town, and they could not afford private childcare, so the girls came to Winglow with their mother after the statutory period of maternity leave was exhausted. Not only did this keep Rose in work, but it increased her self-confidence, knowing that she could continue to contribute financially for her family and still raise her girls.
Lydia was one of our Winglow Fashion Academy students. She comes from Bole in the Northern Region, and had completed her nursing studies, but with no income while she awaited the release of her exam results and a job placement, she applied to study at the Fashion Academy. With nowhere to stay in Greater Accra, she moved in with our founder Awurabena for the duration of her course. She’s now back in Bole, working as a nurse and supplementing her income with her newfound sewing skills. Through education, she went from destitution to being her family’s breadwinner.
We know that Winglow would not be where it is today without the dedication of our team, and we want to continue to support them wherever possible.
If you would like to support our efforts, we run fundraising activities to support our staff's welfare, as well as the Winglow Needy Students Fund to fund more places on our courses. Please contact us to arrange a donation.