Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program

A group of students brainstorm ideas as one of the students takes notes on a large tablet of paper.
Representatives of USAID's partners in the Engendering Utilities program participate in a session of the Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.
Ryan Kilpatrick / USAID

Developed by USAID and Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, the program delivers a best-in-class curriculum empowering key decision-makers to effectively integrate gender equality initiatives within their corporate structure.

At the core of Engendering Utilities’ approach is the effective implementation of evidence-based gender equality best practices. Through a customized best practices framework, demand-driven expert coaching, and a Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program, USAID’s Engendering Utilities program builds the capacity of utility leaders to identify critical gender equality gaps and implement interventions that directly increase opportunities for women within the company, and strengthen utilities’ overall operations.

“The program has changed my perception of various aspects of my job as head of organizational development, which includes policy formulation, recruitment, and manpower planning. I have learned to consider gender equity in all aspects.”

– Osinubi Oyinlola, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Nigeria

About the Program

The Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program, developed by USAID and Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, delivers a best-in-class curriculum that spans the breadth of the employee life cycle. The course empowers partner utility employees—including administrators, operational area managers, and other key decision-makers at all levels—to effectively integrate gender equality initiatives within their corporate structure.

  • Story

    Georgetown McDonough and USAID Expand Gender Equity Program

    In 2019, the Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program serves over 50 participants from 17 utilities in 14 countries. Read the story

  • Case Study

    Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program

    In 2018, the first delivery of the leadership program included 21 participants from five countries. Read the case study

In-person and Virtual Learning

The program’s courses are taught in-person and virtually over 12 months by Georgetown University professors to three mid- to senior-level managers from human resources, operations, and other departments. Participants from each utility are carefully selected through a recruitment process conducted by USAID’s Engendering Utilities experts, in coordination with utility leadership. The aim of the program is to train key decision-makers in partner utilities on how to implement gender equity-focused policies and practices.

Program Structure

Delivered by USAID and Georgetown University

Module 1

Month 1,
In-person

  • Strategic Leadership
  • Human Resources Policies
  • Recruitment
  • Hiring
  • Employee Development
  • Performance Management
  • Succession Planning
Modules 2–6

Months 2–9,
Online

  • Salary and Benefits Equity Analysis
  • Civility
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Childcare and Family-Friendly Practices
  • Communication
  • High-Potential Leadership Development
  • Employee Resources
  • Groups and Teams
  • Role Models
  • Male Engagement
  • Negotiations
Module 7

Month 10,
In-person

  • Persuasion/Influence
  • Personal Leadership
  • Leading Others
  • Change Management
Capstone Project

Months 11–12,
In-country

  • Summarize strategic value of addressing gender equity
  • Presented to top utility leadership
  • Actionable

Building Skills to Promote Gender Equality

Each program module teaches participants how to:

  • Analyze existing company policies and practices and create action plans to address gaps;
  • Conduct employee satisfaction surveys;
  • Collect sex-disaggregated data; and
  • Conduct salary gap analyses.

Throughout the course, instructors help participants strengthen their organizational strategy and change management skills, as well as communication and persuasion skills, so that upon graduation they are fully prepared to make the business case for gender equality to their executive leadership.

USAID complements the Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program instruction by pairing each partner utility with an expert change management and gender equality coach. The coach delivers tailored technical support to partner utilities as they work through the program to analyze gaps, design and implement interventions, and monitor their progress toward gender equality and strengthening business outcomes. Using a customized scorecard tool, participants and their dedicated coaches help utilities make strategic, data-driven decisions to prioritize gender equality interventions, and track the progress of these interventions and their impact on organizational performance.

Developing a Global Cadre of Equality Champions

Through the Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program structure, USAID is developing leaders with skills to advance gender equality in their organizations. The program actively harnesses this cadre of leaders by fostering their roles as mentors and speakers to others in their workplaces, communities, countries, and the energy and water sectors globally. To engage a Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program alumnus to address your event, organization, or group, contact one of our program managers listed below.

For more information:

  • Amanda Valenta, Energy Specialist, Office of Energy and Infrastructure, USAID
  • Corinne Hart, Senior Advisor for Gender and Environment, Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, USAID
  • Jessica Menon, Engendering Utilities Program Manager, Tetra Tech (Implementing Partner)

Last updated: March 26, 2020

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