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Ethical Trade Norway

Living Wage Wednesdays: How to approach living wages in China

The ETN Living Wage Wednesdays aims to increase our members’ knowledge about living wages, and provide practical advice and inspiration as to how a purchasing company can work to enable and implement the payment of living wages in their supply chain. The series entails members meetings with presentations by external experts, to enable dialogue, discussions and sharing of lessons learned and best practice. We aim to keep the sessions practical, leaving substantial time for questions from our members, to strive towards providing relevant knowledge for your company, supply chain and business model.

In this session of the Living Wage Wednesdays we will hear from former employees and China experts in ETI. Yun and Grace will share from their experience working with labour rights and wages in China, both as part of ETI and other organisations. This session will aim to give practical advice to our members on how they can start the conversations with Chinese suppliers on living wages and pointers on what brands should knwo and prepare in advance. Yun and Grace are now both independent consultants on ethical trading and sustainability in global supply chains.

Gao Yun started her career as a practicing lawyer in China in 1990s.  After her advanced studies in Switzerland, she was engaged by the International Labour Organization (ILO). During her 10 years’ services at the ILO, Yun first worked as both Legal Officer and China Programme Manager at a department promoting fundamental rights at work. Later, Yun joined the Better Work programme to design and manage its country programmes operating in Asian countries. After her move to Hong Kong in 2013, Yun led ETI‘s work in East Asian and South-East Asian countries as Director of Regional Office for 8 years. She was responsible for leading the corporate members’ forum, facilitating multiple brands collaboration, engaging multi-stakeholders and providing advisory services to corporate members. During her career, Yun has managed the design and implementation of numerous CSR projects in China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar. Yun is also the author or editor of several high-profile publications at both ILO and ETI.

Grace Gao has been in the ethical trade and sustainability industry for around 20 years. She has cross-sector knowledge and experiences in electronics, apparel, retail, footwear, toy, hardware, fishing and rubber industries. Previously Grace has worked with initiatives including ETI and FLA,  Verite and Impactt consultancy, during which has collaborated with multi-stakeholders, mainly brands, suppliers, CSOs and local experts to implement research, risk assessment and capacity building programs in Asian countries including China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea, covering topics including supply chain mapping, ethical recruitment, living wage, social dialogue, worker engagement, grievance and remedy, gender equality, and GBV.


Gao Yun

Grace Gao