Engendering Utilities Results

Improving Gender Equality in the Global Energy Sector

USAID partnered with seven utilities in 2016 to improve gender equality and enhance business performance. All seven utilities significantly expanded their talent pools for recruitment and diversified their organizations.

Based on its own groundbreaking research across 14 global electricity utilities, USAID’s Engendering Utilities program began working with an initial cohort of utilities in 2016 to improve gender equality and enhance business performance. For nearly two years, USAID partnered with seven utilities from five countries to implement tailored interventions to improve gender outcomes, guided by an evidence-based approach that includes:

  • Global best practices. USAID’s Delivering Gender Equality: A Best Practices Framework for Utilities provides tools and resources to implement gender equality interventions throughout the employee life cycle.
  • Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program. Developed by USAID and Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, this 12-month course empowers utility employees to effectively implement gender equality initiatives.
  • Tailored Change Management Coaching and Interventions. Each utility is paired with an expert change management and gender equality coach to help design and implement interventions and monitor progress toward goals.

Impact

All seven Engendering Utilities partners significantly expanded their talent pools for recruitment and diversified their organizations. All utilities have:

  • Increased the number of female employees
  • Drafted or adopted Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) statements
  • Conducted pay gap analyses and are implementing plans to address gaps that were identified
  • Reviewed Human Resources policies against global standards to determine gender equity gaps
  • Gathered sex-disaggregated employment and employee satisfaction data, in some cases for the first time, for use in decision-making
  • Adopted new policies to address gender equity, which are being implemented and enforced at all levels of the company
  • Moved to behavior-based interviewing techniques to reduce bias in hiring processes

Each utility partner has implemented tailored interventions designed to address their gender equality goals.

USAID’s Engendering Utilities program works with electricity and water utilities in developing countries to increase economic opportunities for women, improve gender equality, boost business performance, and strengthen the energy and water sectors. Through a customized best practices framework, demand-driven coaching, and a Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program, Engendering Utilities builds the capacity of utility leaders to implement gender equality interventions that increase the professional participation of women and meet their core business goals.

Launched in 2015, the Engendering Utilities program demonstrates USAID’s commitment to promote a path to self-reliance and resilience in developing countries by fostering enterprise-driven innovation, inclusive economic growth, and gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Engendering Utilities is a key activity under the U.S. Government’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), which aims to reach 50 million women by 2025 through innovative and effective programs.

Date 
Monday, July 1, 2019 - 3:00am

Last updated: March 26, 2020