This is one of a series of articles published in the run up to International Women’s Day 2019 and celebrating our partners who are also leading women in business.
Malika Boudine founded Morocco’s Ibtitex in 1999 and the company is still 100 percent owned and managed by her and her daughter Ibtisame.
Specialising in producing women’s clothing and oriented exclusively towards exports, the company now produces more than 20,000 pieces every week from its factory in Fes in the north of the country.
“What marks Ibtitex out is the attention that we pay to our employees, 70 percent of whom are women. Finding qualified staff in the textiles industry in Morocco is not easy, but companies are also not providing good working conditions for their staff. This is where we wanted to be different. We wanted to value our women employees for their active participation in the business.”
As part of her vision for providing good working conditions that will motivate and help retain employees, Malika involves women in every aspect of the business and all levels of the company – not just in the production process.
Ibtitex has introduced an in-house training centre to train and equip students in important technical skills, as well as putting in place a requirement for career plans for every employee. She also created a canteen, infirmary and rest room for staff.
Malika also sees a leadership role for her company in social and environmental values. With support from the EBRD, Ibtitex worked with a consultant to set up an innovative olive pomace plant to produce green energy from the waste of olive oil production process. They’ve already replaced more than 20 percent of their energy usage this way, with ambitious plans to extend that further through other energy efficiency projects.