Edesur Dominicana, S.A. (EDESUR), Dominican Republic

Engendering Utilities Partner Profile

EDESUR was formed in 1999 and distributes electricity to more than 800,000 customers in the southern part of the country. Of their 3,290 employees, around 37 percent are women. USAID is proud to work with EDESUR in their commitment to improve gender equality in the energy sector as part of their path to long-term success.

Electricity in the Dominican Republic was supplied by the Dominican Electricity Corporation, a state-owned vertically-integrated utility, until 1999 when a law divided the public utility into three generation companies, one transmission company, and three distribution companies. By 2011, the government had established a competitive market to promote private sector participation in the electricity sector.

The International Labour Organization reports that 49.2 percent of Dominican women participate in the labor market, compared to 76 percent of men. Despite the relatively high female participation rate, only nine percent of females compared to 26 percent of males were employed in industry, which indicates that sectors such as energy are still male-dominated. Currently, the gender wage gap is 44 percent in the Dominican Republic, leaving many women without economic agency.

USAID is partnering with EDESUR through the Engendering Utilities program to assess and identify high-impact interventions that can improve gender equality within the organization. Through Engendering Utilities, USAID is providing tailored coaching to EDESUR staff on gender equality and business best practices, and select utility personnel are participating in the Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program in collaboration with Georgetown University.

A dedicated change management coach provided by the Engendering Utilities program is working with EDESUR to identify opportunities to address perceptions around obstacles women face in career advancement, including their comfort level with technical jobs. Through this coaching, the utility will develop a tailored action plan to best fit their needs. EDESUR will also place a strong emphasis on engaging influential male leaders as champions of gender equality.

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 
Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 11:15am

Last updated: March 26, 2020