Vietnam Electricity (EVN)

Engendering Utilities Partner Profile

EVN is the largest utility in Vietnam, producing and supplying nearly 60 percent of Vietnam’s energy. The utility has nearly 100,000 employees of which 20 percent are women.

Engendering Utilities’ work with EVN ensures women capitalize on increased investment in Vietnam’s energy sector as the industry and labor force continue to grow. The energy needs of Vietnam—a country of 90 million people—increase by ten percent annually. Hydropower is approaching maximum utilization in Vietnam, and a growing reliance on coal could undermine economic growth in the country. The government is pursuing an energy diversification strategy and increasing investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean-technology.

A complex web of contributing factors prevents women in Vietnam from joining the formal workforce, particularly the male-dominated energy sector. In the education system, Vietnamese men are provided more opportunities to receive vocational training than women. The Vietnam Women’s Union has made efforts to establish vocational centers for women, but the number of trainers and classrooms are limited. These factors contribute to various forms of gender discrimination in the workforce, including wage disparities and inequities. Engendering Utilities is supporting EVN to consider and respond to factors that reduce women’s workforce participation by building inclusive policies and practices that benefit women, men, and businesses in the energy sector.

USAID is supporting EVN in its goal of increasing gender equality across the company’s business practices by providing change management coaching and leadership training, conducting a baseline assessment to identify gaps and opportunities for gender equality, and developing a strategic plan with EVN to facilitate the company’s gender equality goals. USAID will also support:

  • Implementation of the 2016-2020 Gender Action Plan, which focuses on improving the ability of human resources to support equality; ensuring equal rights and quality of life for employees in the workplace; capacity building for the Committee for Women’s Advancement; and increasing women’s representation in management and leadership.
  • Addressing Challenges to Gender Equality identified by EVN including balancing work-life responsibilities, changing prevailing perceptions about women’s ability to succeed in leadership roles, and occupational segregation within in the utility which leads to fewer promotional opportunities for women.
  • Develop Clear, Measurable Indicators on issues such as the talent pipeline, hiring and promotion procedures, absenteeism and inclusive workplace policies; improve and strengthen EVN’s Women in Leadership program; and analyze and strengthen current workplace policies to better encourage the development, retention and promotion of female employees.

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, August 13, 2020 - 2:45am

Last updated: August 13, 2020