Hear Her Story: Q&A with Champa Akter, Sewing Superintendent at Gildan
We sat down with Champa, one of our sewing superintendents at our Dhaka factory to look back at her seventeen-year career at the Company. From starting out as a Quality Inspector to growing into her role as a team leader, Champa shares her story, her personal milestones and the environment she creates for her team on the factory floor. Here is her story:
Can you start off by telling us what you do at Gildan?
I oversee production in our sewing department. That means I coordinate the work of our sewing supervisors and operators to ensure production runs smoothly and that teams work together cohesively. I check in to ensure that we’re on the right track to hit our targets and I’m also in charge of communication and training on new procedures for our sewing teams.
I have been working here since the inception of this factory, 2002 to be exact. Since then, I’ve had four positions in total. I started out my career as a Quality Inspector, after that I was promoted to a supervisor position, then coordinator and now I am the Sewing Superintendent.
How has the company helped you grow within your role?
Over the years, the Company has continuously encouraged me to do my best and given me a workplace environment that’s conducive to growth. At Gildan, I’ve been able to expand my horizons by testing out new roles and moving upwards. I feel that I really have the freedom to try new things here.
What new skills have you acquired over the years?
I’ve gained many new skills over the years. One of the first skills I learned was during my role overseeing the production floor. There, I learned to manage people and to support them in reaching their goals. The Company really helped me with that, they sent me for a training on how to foster an efficient team and they also helped me develop my overall managerial skills. The Company really wanted to make sure that I had the knowledge and tools I needed to succeed in my role.
My supervisor also played a large role in my development. I learned valuable skills from him through every day coaching. It’s one of my favorite things about going to work, knowing that I have an amazing leader that coaches me to be my best self.
What’s your team environment like?
In my entire career, I’ve never had as good of a working environment as I do here. It’s hard to express how I feel in words about my workplace. My team is like a family to me. I’m very lucky to have incredible employees, who work hard and are simply great people.
The leadership team also fosters a great environment, always encouraging us to do better and guiding us to meet our objectives. This job has given me the freedom to grow into a more confident person and professional, and I’m grateful for that.
What is your proudest moment at work?
I think that it is probably the same for all supervisors; my proudest moment at work is when I see one of my team members get an opportunity to grow within the Company. I believe that as a leader developing your team is your main role, so when they get a chance to move up, it is an incredible feeling.
This interview was conducted in Bengali and translated to English.