The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) believes that the private sector has a fundamental role to play in breaking patterns of violence towards women and children, normally happening in the family setting. This is achieved through the facilitation of a cultural shift in the workplace, involving management and employees to shape and influence change around domestic violence.
One such company, Tikketai, has joined forces with the ISS to do just that, with the participating employees naming the programme “Free to Grow”, which fits in so well with the sector they work in, a national wholesaler of broccoli and cauliflower all year round, and the level on which this programme empowers them.
Tikketai CEO Burger Gericke says that they see and acknowledge that violence at home also affects the workplace. “We can link it directly to increased absenteeism and reduced productivity. However, this is not our only motivation. We truly care for the people that work at Tikketai and want to empower them with skills that make them happier, healthier people. We want to equip and support them to cope with work and home life stresses,” he states.
This 12-week gender-violence programme has been running at Tikketai since 2019. The human-centred design methodology is used to build an effective programme for the people who need it and can benefit from it. Rapid testing is done where the programme is facilitated, feedback from the voluntary attendees is gathered, and the programme is adapted, refined, and represented again. To date, about 40 employees from Tikketai have voluntarily participated in the programme.
Beyond helping the staff at Tikketai, programme coordinators have seen participants taking the tips and tools back to family and friends which has a far-reaching and momentous effect back in the community. In the workplace, they have clearly seen a return on investment since the programme has been running. There is less conflict on the production line, improved relationships between staff members, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity. Partnerships like these are win-win deals for businesses and communities alike.
Tikketai has shown, that even small businesses can become industry leaders in supporting women and enabling violence prevention and SAPPIN applauds the work they and the ISS are doing for our communities.