Closing the Gender Gap:

Revaluating women's tasks for equalizing salaries

gender parity
Company name:
soleRebels (Bostex PLC)
Retail & Consumer Goods
Up to 1,000
Sub-saharan Africa
Contact Name:
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
Contact Position:
Managing Director
Contact company representative

The Gap:

Type of Gap: ...between male and female salaries

In the footwear manufacturing business women tend to be much lower paid than men as they tend to be "preparers" rather than "assemblers" like men.

The Practice:

Type of practice: Measurement & target setting

We created a unique preparation system that has quality at its core whereby women can elevate their pay, thereby earning wages comparable to men.

In addition, we also place a high value premium on high quality sewing, an area that typically attracts women but is usually looked at as piece or commodity work. Because we produce a premium product, we look at sewing as a high value position and thus have wages that are commensurate with this. We thus turned a job that typically attracts women but that was low paid into a highly paid position, by focusing on the value of the work to the final product.

We have also placed a focus on elevating women into management roles that require unique skills sets and thus get payment equal to mens.


We measure the success of these initiatives by the remuneration achieved by our female staff.

Implementation Date:

Viewed as a core principle of the company, this initiative is ongoing.

The Success:

With a little business creativity we were able to create wage parity within a sector that typically is devoid of that. Having a greater percentage of higher paid women on staff also translates into happier workers, better productivity and a better community.

Success factors:

  1. Commitment
  2. Execution
  3. Success


  1. Cost


Corporate Social Responsibility|Employee Satisfaction|Process Design|Rewards
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