Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia

Speeches Shim

USAID is improving gender equality in the energy sector to advance women’s economic empowerment and strengthen energy institutions.

Women are underrepresented in the workforce across Southeast Asia, particularly in male-dominated industries like the energy sector.  As energy is a key driver of economic development, healthcare, education, and commerce, this disparity is more than an issue of equity, it is a missed economic opportunity for countries, companies, and communities.  Expanding women’s participation in energy-related fields can result in tangible economic empowerment, including prospects for formal employment and higher income.

A growing body of evidence links increased gender equality with stronger business outcomes, more innovation, higher productivity, and lower employee turnover.  Tapping into women’s unique contributions can strengthen the energy sector across Southeast Asia and accelerate inclusive economic and social development.

POWERING DEVELOPMENT THROUGH GENDER EQUALITY

The three-year Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia (E4SEA) activity is expanding regional knowledge around gender equality in the energy sector to transform attitudes and eradicate biases. Drawing on best practices and resources developed by USAID’s Engendering Industries program, the Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia activity is partnering with educational institutions and energy sector employers to attract and retain women through organizational change and leadership development initiatives.

IDENTIFYING CORE CHALLENGES TO GENDER EQUALITY IN THE ENERGY SECTOR

Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia is developing a robust evidence base to maximize intended gender equality and social inclusion results in the energy sector.  By identifying the key cultural and structural roadblocks for women in the region, USAID can design tailored interventions to improve gender equality in the energy sector including public sector entities and private businesses.

INCREASING THE NUMBER OF WOMEN AND GIRLS PURSUING ENERGY SECTOR CAREERS

Many girls and young women who would like to pursue careers in the energy sector are either discouraged or simply do not know where to begin.  Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia is increasing the awareness of energy-related career opportunities.  Through it, USAID aims to reverse negative perceptions about women in energy sector jobs and increase internship and mentorship opportunities for women by equipping counterparts with the tools to address unconscious bias.

INCREASING RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND PROMOTION OF WOMEN IN ENERGY

Through Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia, USAID is coaching energy sector employers to change organizational cultures and expand early career opportunities for women.  Using best practices, the project will partner with energy sector employers to implement interventions that help hire, promote, and retain women, and to engage men as active drivers of change within their organizations, families, and communities.

INCREASING MENTORSHIP AND LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN

Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia aims to increase mentoring and leadership opportunities with energy sector employers through vocational training and education programs.  It is partnering with energy sector employers to encourage the establishment and strengthening of energy sector centers of excellence and professional networks in the region, and embed programs to ensure sustainability beyond the life of the Activity.

ENHANCING COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION, AND LEARNING

Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia is strengthening the capacity of organizations, including other USAID programs in the region, to replicate successful gender equality interventions and best practices to foster greater collaboration.

Last updated: December 29, 2021

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